Across the country AccorHotels' teams 'hooded together' on sacred ground to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples over NAIDOC week - 5-12 July, with over 11 events and activities held nationwide.
The NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee) Week events gathered together local communities and AccorHotels employees to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our society. At some events funds were also raised, with hotels in Cairns raising over $1000 for Indigenous charities.
AccorHotels National Indigenous Programs Manager Marc Bennie said: “As part of AccorHotels' ongoing commitment to reconciliation, NAIDOC Week events were held by our hotel teams across the country. This culminated in the support of our national partner AIME and their national Hoodie Day on Friday 10 July, where employees wore their hoodies throughout the day, to help share AIME's story with our guests.”
At all events in Cairns, local traditional owners provided 'Welcome to Country' greetings. A business breakfast held on Tuesday 7 July at Pullman Cairns International was sold out, with over 120 attendees from the local business community coming together to hear from resident indigenous business owners Dr Ernie Grant, Sonya Jeffrey and Toni AhSam. Guests and staff alike were challenged to take more action at a local level to respect and celebrate our Indigenous culture.
In Melbourne, all hotels contributed to a regional event at Pullman Melbourne on the Park on Friday 10 July. Attendees included partners such as AFL SportsReady, National Indigenous Culinary Institute, AIME Victoria, and Charcoal Lane as well as AccorHotels GMs, HR Managers and Indigenous employees. Guests were welcomed by didgeridoo player Ray Young.
Erkin Aytekin, General Manager at Pullman Melbourne touched on the importance of acknowledging and celebrating indigenous cultures. As well as AccorHotels's commitment to Indigenous employment through the Job Ready
Program and relationships with Charcoal Lane and Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia – Ayers Rock Resort.
Guest Speaker Troy Crellin from Charcoal Lane shared the successes of their own Indigenous program. A Mission Australia social enterprise restaurant, which is co-managed by AccorHotels, Charcoal Lane provides guidance and opportunities to young people; many of whom are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, and in need of mentoring to get a better start in life. Troy reiterated the importance of a career pathway from the Charcoal Lane program into AccorHotels restaurants.
In Sydney, a Deadly Dayz event was held for all NSW and ACT AccorHotels Indigenous team members at Mercure Sydney. Team members were motivated by words of inspiration from Shane Phillips CEO of Tribal Warrior Association in Redfern. Shane discussed how he overcame many obstacles in life to rise to become the leader of a much admired, local Indigenous business in Sydney.
In Perth and Brisbane, AccorHotels hosted market stalls at the local NAIDOC committee events to promote our Indigenous employment programs and create closer ties with the communities in which we operate.
This year's NAIDOC theme highlighted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' strong spiritual and cultural connection to land and sea. The theme paid respect to country, honoured those who preserve our land, sea and culture and shared the stories of sacred places - including the land AccorHotels operate on.