Belinda Matijevic

To mark NAIDOC Week 2024, running from July 7-14, HM is shining the spotlight on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the hotel industry. Here, Travel and Leisure Co. introduces Safety and Wellness Manager Asia Pacific, Belinda Matijevic, a passionate diversity and inclusion advocate.

Belinda Matijevic was raised in a traditional European home but is a proud Aboriginal woman with heritage from the Anangu Pitjantjara Yankunytjatjara country in the remote northwest of South Australia.

Belinda has spent significant time living and working in several Aboriginal communities in South Australia including Anangu Pitjantjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (remote northwest), Ngarrindjeri (Murray River to Kangaroo Island), Nukunu and Barngala (Northern Flinders Ranges) and Adnyamanthanha (Greater Flinders Ranges).

Her commitment to truth-telling about Australia’s history reflects her deep respect for the wisdom and traditions of First Nations communities.

At Travel and Leisure Co., Belinda brings her gentle yet powerful stewardship to the development of the company’s First Nations Peoples’ Strategy emphasising cultural safety and wellness in her role as Safety and Wellness Manager for the business. Her educational background includes a bachelor’s degree, and she is currently pursuing an MBA.

Belinda advocates that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are essential components of innovation, talent attraction, employee engagement, informed decision-making, customer connection, and enhanced company reputation. The company’s First Nations strategy asserts that supporting the advancement of Indigenous peoples across resorts, workplaces, and communities is vital. Belinda believes that Indigenous knowledge and culture are invaluable assets to the nation and enhance the delivery of authentic tourism experiences.

During NAIDOC Week, Travel and Leisure Co. is celebrating and recognising the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with various activities across its vacation clubs – Club Wyndham and Accor Vacation Club – and managed resort network under TRYP, Wyndham and Ramada brands. These include cultural activities involving local Indigenous communities such as language sessions, educational pieces, and more.

A standout annual initiative is the Ramada Port Douglas resort’s commitment to the National Indigenous Training Academy (NITA). This program offers practical training to First Nations students aspiring to work in hospitality. The resort provides placement opportunities for students pursuing certificates in hospitality and tourism, providing hands-on experience in food and beverage, housekeeping, front office, and other disciplines.

NAIDOC Week is a time to celebrate and reflect on the significant contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the hospitality industry, and Belinda Matijevic exemplifies the profound impact of their inclusion and leadership.