Ayers Rock Resort is a world-class tourism and hospitality enterprise which provides employment, training and business development opportunities for local Anangu and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from across Australia. Visitors to the resort and the natural landscapes of Uluru and Kata-Tjuta are immersed in a genuine Indigenous cultural experience.
The ILSC strategically acquired Ayers Rock Resort at Yulara to operate a successful international and national tourism enterprise which could deliver a diversity of training and employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people not found on such a scale in Central Australia.
The resort is operated by Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the ILSC. The resort’s five hotels and a campground with 688 guest rooms offer a full range of accommodation from luxury to basic, an airport, extensive food and beverage outlets, a world-class conference centre, spa and numerous retail outlets including art galleries, gift stores, a supermarket and a petrol station. There are over 700 units of housing to accommodate staff and an industrial precinct for back-of-house and technical services.
The Resort showcases local Anangu culture through the increasing Indigenous workforce and the daily suite ot Indigenous activities available for guests. These activities offer a comprehensive program allowing guests to interact and engage in Indigenous culture during their stay.
The program includes daily cultural talks with an Anangu senior person, Aboriginal weapons demonstrations, daily garden tours and a cultural dance performance.
Other activities include a daily dot painting workshop run by Maruku Arts and Outback Sky Journeys which offers guests an economical way to enjoy the magic of the clear desert sky. Sounds of Silence and Tali Wiru under-the-stars dining experiences also provide Indigenous performances.
Indigenous Training and Employment
The ILSC’s acquisition of Ayers Rock Resort supports the creation of large scale training and employment opportunities for Anangu communities and Indigenous people across Australia in tourism, hospitality and associated services.
The ILSC established the National Indigenous Training Academy at Yulara to provide enterprise based, accredited training programs offering pathways for Indigenous people into sustainable employment at the resort and within the wider Australian tourism and hospitality industry. The National Indigenous Training Academy has regular intakes of trainees. Graduates are offered employment at Ayers Rock Resort or other industry partners.
Indigenous employment has grown significantly since the purchase of the resort, with over 250 Indigenous people working there.
A highlight for many guests is experiencing the Kulata Academy Café in the Town Square. The busy café is run by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trainees as a training arm of the National Indigenous Training Academy.
The resort engages with local communities to promote training, employment and business opportunities. The Anangu, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunyjatjara Lands work experience program welcomes secondary school students and youth from nearby communities to experience the workings of ARR first hand. Interested students then attend more formal work experience placements throughout the year with aim of taking up places in the traineeship program.
The ILSC’s Real Jobs Program has seen teams of men and women from Mutitjulu working in landscaping, construction, municipal and domestic services at the resort and in the Mutitjulu community. Indigenous economic development has been supported with Indigenous businesses providing goods and services.
The ILSC through it’s subsidiary Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia has consulted with the local communities about the name of the resort. The communities advised the use of the name Uluru beyond reference to the rock and land was not suitable.
Collaboration with other agencies
The ILSC and Ayers Rock Resort work with a number of partners to deliver the Indigenous training and employment strategy.
The ILSC and William Angliss Institute have been recognised at the Skills Services Australia Excellence Awards as finalists for the Industry Partner Award. William Angliss Institute are the preferred training providers for the National Indigenous Training Academy.
Other partners supporting the Indigenous training and employment strategy include Job Service Australia providers, Remote Jobs and Community Program providers, employment partners including the ACCOR network, the Clontarf Academy and Charles Darwin University.
Around 300 participants take part in the Outback Marathon which weaves around Uluru each year. The Deadly Fun Run Series, an initiative set up by Robert de Castella’s Indigenous Marathon Project, runs annually at the resort and promotes healthy living and increased participation in running in remote Indigenous communities.