Reflections Holiday Parks has partnered with Crown Lands on an Aboriginal Tourism Experiences Pilot Program to deliver a raft of cultural activities in Reflections parks, working with Aboriginal organisations.
The success of the program, which includes activities such as bush tucker gardens and creative workshops, will be celebrated with the launch of an art trail created by Worimi artist Tyson Jolly at Reflections Jimmys Beach on Friday, September 1.
Reflections is a Crown Land Manager that cares for 9,300 hectares of public land (94% of it is nature reserve, the rest where its holiday parks operate) and reinvests all profits back into reserves and parks in its care.
The Pilot Program is a part of Reflections’ Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), the first of four RAPs endorsed by Reconciliation Australia.
The Reflect RAP is aligned to Reflections’ 2030 strategic plan, which cites a strong commitment to reconciliation, and includes a target to expand a visitor experience program within Reflections parks that delivers social, cultural, and economic value to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
RAP outcomes include partnerships between Reflections and local Aboriginal Communities and Native Title Holders in 37 Reflections parks located in 12 Nations: Bundjalung, Yaegl, Gumbaynggirr, Birpai, Worimi, Awabakal, Darkinjung, Yuin, Kamilaroi, Wonnarua, Wiradjuri and Ngunawal
Reflections’ CEO Nick Baker said the RAP and Pilot Program had grown cultural awareness with Park guests and among staff, who will also have the opportunity for cultural training.
“What I’d like to see in every single park is that we have a relationship with the local communities and Indigenous operators that offer experiences that they want to share with our guests,” Mr Baker said.
The Member for Port Stephens, Kate Washington, said the cultural art trail at Jimmys Beach was an exciting initiative that would have many benefits locally and beyond.
“Reflections’ Cultural Tourism Program, and especially the beautiful art trail, will help visitors and locals alike, connect with the local Aboriginal culture, community, and Country. It’s a great initiative that’s good for the local economy and strengthens our community,” Ms Washington said.
Reflections’ cultural tourism initiatives are steered by Aboriginal Engagement Officer and Githabul Bundjalung Woman Cheryl Newton.
Ms Newton has been establishing relationships with the Traditional Custodians of the Crown land sites managed by Reflections to develop a range of cultural immersion and tourism experiences for guests.
VIDEO: Click this link to watch the Cultural Tourism Program video, using the password 'reflections'
Reflections is a leading nature-driven escapes organisation, welcoming two-million-day visitors and overnight guests to its New South Wales holiday parks each year.
The first holiday park group to be certified as a social enterprise, Reflections operates across NSW, on 12 Aboriginal Nations, and reinvests profit back into the near 10,000 hectares of public (Crown) land it manages for the enjoyment of the people of NSW.
Reflections cares for 43 community reserves that represent 94% of the land in its remit; the remaining 6% is the land where its 37 holiday parks operate.
In 2022, Reflections generated $83.2 million in economic value for regional NSW, with a clear goal to deliver $1.3 billion in cumulative economic value to regional NSW communities by the end of 2030.
Media Contact: Penelope Green: 0437 144 526
NB: Worimi artist Tyson Jolly, Reflections' CEO Nick Baker and Reflections' Aboriginal Engagement Officer Cheryl Newton are available for interview at 11am, Friday, September 1