The Gorge goes gold
PORT DOUGLAS LIFESAVERS’ CROC PROBLEM • MOSSMAN HOSTS ALL BLACKS
THE Mossman Gorge Centre is well and truly on the map after earning a trio of awards at the Tourism Queensland awards in Brisbane on Friday night.
The centre won gold in the Qantas Award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism Category, silver in the Cultural Tourism category and bronze in the Major Tourist Attractions category.
Assistant general manager Rachael Hodges said the awards, and especially the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander category, validated a lot of the hard work by the team.
“One of the good things about winning this award is that we’re really putting indigenous tourism
and Mossman Gorge on the map.
“It’s great that this award recognises the hard work done by all our staff here, from gallery attendants to shuttle bus drivers to tour guides to groundskeepers and cafe staff.”
The Centre employs a hundred staff, and training is a major part of what it does, with eight residential trainees, three apprentice chefs, two tour guide chefs and three food and drink attendants.
This year marks the second time the Centre has won this award. The previous time was in 2014, when it was the indigenous Tourism category.
That year, the Centre went on to the national awards to compete against its sister attraction, Uluru and Yulara, which is operated by the same company. Mossman Gorge won bronze, while Uluru won gold that year.
Uluru has again won gold in the Northern Territory awards, so both attractions will be advancing to the national awards in the same category in February 2017, making for a sibling rivalry rematch that Ms Hodges said they were looking forward to.
Ms Hodges said the ongoing popularity of the centre was fantastic. In 2015, 45,000 of the 350,000 visitors went on the cultural tours rather than only visiting the gorge.
“For me it’s showing that visitors to Australia want to experience hands-on interaction with indigenous people,” she said
“What we do is also in the spirit of reconciliation and breaking down stereotypes by raising awareness and education about the strong spiritual connection that indigenous people have with their country.”
For Ms Hodges, the continued success of the Mossman Gorge Centre bodes well for the future of the community.
“It’s also about ensuring we have a strong foundation for the future of our indigenous kids.”