Ramada Resort by Wyndham Port Douglas has signed a partnership with the National Indigenous Training Academy (NITA) to provide traineeship placements to First Nations students seeking a career in hospitality.

The placement gives young people completing certificate qualifications in hospitality and tourism through NITA – part of Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia – a practical taste of the industry, where Ramada Port Douglas will offer experience in both food and beverage, housekeeping and elsewhere at the resort.

“Hospitality in Port Douglas suffered financially during COVID-19 and then experienced staff shortages afterward, but agreements like these can help to nurture young talent – especially in our First Nations communities – and ensure a continual supply of workers to the industry,” said Hani Daher, General Manager at Ramada Port Douglas.

“Nationwide, hospitality is seen as transient, so it is important we encourage and train people who are intent on making a career in this sector. It offers exciting careers with leadership responsibilities, personal growth, and the opportunity to travel all over the world,” he said.

Both students currently at the resort are enrolled in a 12-month full-time traineeship through NITA and work four shifts at Ramada Port Douglas per week, while also taking part in practical training and theory sessions at the Mossman Gorge Cultural Centre.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Ramada Port Douglas to offer our NITA trainees even more on-the-job experience and help them hone their skills in tourism and hospitality”, said Matthew Cameron-Smith, CEO at Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia.

“The opportunity for trainees to share their time between Mossman Gorge Cultural Centre and Ramada Port Douglas will deliver invaluable experience, helping to set them up for long-term success in the industry.”

NITA offers unique training, working and residential programs at both Ayers Rock Resort and Mossman Gorge Cultural Centre and aims to change the lives of Indigenous Australians by providing market leading training programs that empower an Indigenous workforce.

Set amongst Melaleuca rainforest and surrounded by lush gardens and free flowing waterways filled with barramundi, the 193-room Ramada Port Douglas is a mixed-use resort utilised by holiday club members of Club Wyndham South Pacific and resort guests. The resort also offers a pool with river, onsite day spa, a gym and 3Sixteen Bar & Bistro.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management