A new jobs program for locals at Ayers Rock Resort – will this one succeed?


When the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) bought the Ayers Rock Resort late last year there was not a single local Aboriginal employee working there – despite good intentions by the resort’s previous owners and many training programs over the years. So it will be interesting to see if a new program, announced today by Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development Mark Arbib, succeeds.
Like many before it, the focus is on training, this time to be delivered at the ILC’s newly established Indigenous Training Academy at Yulara, benefiting from a $4.9 million partnership with the Australian Government.
A 12 month traineeship program will recruit locally and from across Australia by offering competitive wages, help with relocation and costs of living, retention bonuses and a guaranteed job, either at the resort or in the hospitality and tourism industry.
All up the program is expected to create 350 new jobs at the resort and in the hospitality industry elsewhere.
Minister for Tourism Martin Ferguson said the program complements the National Long Term Tourism Strategy’s focus on improving Indigenous tourism experiences as well as stimulating Indigenous tourism enterprise and product development.
“The Australian Government has also committed to providing funding of up to $1 million from the Strategic Tourism Investment Grants program for the Indigenous Tourism Business Skills Project at Ayers Rock Resort.”
Meanwhile, the ILC will also develop an Indigenous Procurement Strategy for the resort, to strengthen business opportunities for Indigenous suppliers. – Kieran Finnane
Photo: Filling empty resort beds with Aboriginal trainees?
See some of our past reports on this subject:
Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Herron: Throwing money at the black unemployment ‘time bomb’ hasn’t worked. 
Ayers Rock Job Program. 
Rumble at Ayers Rock: shutting Uluru’s gates?
Ayers Rock jobs farce.
Ayers Rock jobs: who’s right?
Dump easy dole: blueprint for battered Ayers Rock community.
Ayers Rock Resort: Lots of jobs for locals.
Runs on board for new Rock resort owners.


  1. That $4.9m would be better spent in completing the Kilgariff subdivision. Erwin, go back six years and research the amount of money already spent on exactly the same program. And they all failed. Ayers Rock has been a sinkhole for millions of Commonwealth dollars. Our money. The taxpayers of Australia. How much money do we have to burn? $10m plus by now has been lost in this so called training and no workers or if there is probably three. And not from Central Australia. That money would go along way assisting Alice Springs with much needed housing. How many training organisations do we have in Alice? How many Aboriginal organisations in Alice have training programs. We are always hearing about outcomes. What are the current outcomes in Alice Springs? An article on that would serve Alice to have a knowledge base on the wasted spending by governments on training programs for indigenous organisations.

  2. Perhaps some duplication could be avoided if the $1.3 million Nyangatjatjara College boarding house at Yulara, which is no longer used for to accommodate full time boarding students, could become part of the new training infrastructure.

  3. Training programs will never, of themselves, be successful while the alternative is unconditional welfare.
    Only giving hard choices such as, do training and get a job, or take a menial job, or put up with living on food vouchers have a chance of success.

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