The Government is now operating in accordance with the Caretaker Conventions pending the outcome of the 2022 federal election.

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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Indigenous Tourism Fund

The Indigenous Tourism Fund (ITF) was developed in consultation with the Indigenous tourism sector and includes business support and grants for Indigenous-owned tourism businesses. The ITF will deliver complementary programs to grow the size and number of Indigenous owned tourism businesses across Australia.

Direct assistance for Indigenous tourism businesses

Tourism Grants for Indigenous Business Program

The Tourism Grants for Indigenous Business Program will provide up to $12 million over four years in small grants to help individual Indigenous-owned businesses and community organisations invest in developing new products, equipment, business planning and marketing in the tourism sector. Grants are capped at $50,000 for a privately owned business and $100,000 for community organisations.

Outcomes from the first round of the Tourism Grants for Indigenous Business Program were announced in July 2021.The large number of high quality applications reflects the strong interest from Indigenous Australians to develop their tourism operations.

Grants totalling close to $3 million will support 60 Indigenous-owned organisations to increase the number of Indigenous tourism products across Australia. A list of the funded organisations from this grant round (DOCX 196KB)is available.

Round two of the Tourism Grants for Indigenous Business Program is now open.

This is a further opportunity for eligible businesses and community organisations to access assistance for the development of exclusive and authentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visitor experiences.

Applications can be submitted via the GrantConnect website by 11:30pm (ACT Local Time), 14 June 2022.

NIAA will also host online information sessions to provide further assistance with the application process. Invitations to attend an online information session can be requested by emailing tourism@niaa.gov.au.

Indigenous Tourism Mentoring Program

The National Indigenous Tourism Mentoring Program will offer placed-based, individualised services, including from industry experts, to help Indigenous tourism businesses meet their tourism goals.

Following a competitive open tender process, on 29 April 2022 PwC’s Indigenous Consulting (PIC) was published on AusTender as the selected provider to design and deliver the National Indigenous Tourism Mentoring Program.

The NIAA is now working with PIC to complete a comprehensive co-design process with stakeholders so that eligible Indigenous tourism businesses across Australia can start accessing services from late 2022. Ideas will be sought from Indigenous tour operators and industry experts on the capability needs to deliver the mentoring support across urban, regional and remote Australia. NIAA encourages all Indigenous tourism industry stakeholders to participate and provide their insights and views to shape this program. 

Boosting the Indigenous tourism sector as a whole

Strategic Indigenous Tourism Projects

The Strategic Indigenous Tourism Projects will provide up to $17 million to the states and territories to co-invest in and generate supply chain opportunities for Indigenous owned tourism businesses. This recognises each jurisdiction’s unique Indigenous tourism opportunity and investment needs.

Investing in partnership with the States and Territories will provide an opportunity to collaborate on Indigenous tourism projects. Funding will be allocated to projects which increase the supply of Indigenous tourism experiences and/or create supply chain opportunities for Indigenous tourism businesses.

The Commonwealth will work with state or territory governments to identify suitable projects.

National Indigenous Tourism Advisory Group

The National Indigenous Tourism Advisory Group (NITAG) will advise the Government on future priorities for the sector and provide an Indigenous voice in the implementation of the Indigenous Tourism Fund to ensure the Government has a real understanding of the priorities and needs of the Indigenous tourism sector. This is particularly important given the huge impact that COVID-19 had had on the sector.

NITAG is chaired by Professor Deen Sanders OAM (Worimi, New South Wales), an Ethics and Professionalism leader for the Deloitte Governance, Regulation and Conduct group. Professor Sanders leads the Indigenous Strategy and Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan for Deloitte.

The Deputy Chair is Helen Martin (Arrentte, Northern Territory), Managing Director and co-founder of the Banubanu Beach Retreat. Ms Martin has been working in the tourism industry for more than 15 years, and has made a significant contribution to NT Aboriginal Tourism. Until recently, Ms Martin was the Commissioner on the Tourism NT Board and Chair of the NT Aboriginal Tourism Committee.

The other members include Mr Tony Coppins, Director of Kangaroo Island Ocean Safari and Totem WiFi; Ms Rhonda Appo, the Indigenous Program Manager at the Queensland Tourism Industry Council; Ms Jirra Harvey, founder and Director of Kalinya Communications; Mr Andrew Smith, CEO of the Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council (WLALC) and Sand Dune Adventures; and Mr Robert Taylor, CEO of the Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council.

More information

For further information on the Indigenous Tourism Fund please contact your local NIAA Regional Office.

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