The Jawoyn Association and its company Nitmiluk Tours last night collected a swag of six Northern Territory Brolga Awards for excellence in tourism.
The association, which is the joint management partner of Nitmiluk National Park, took home the night’s highest honour, the Tourism Minister’s Perpetual Trophy.
Nitmiluk National Park won the Brolga for best Major Tourist Attraction for the second year running.
Territory Tourism Minister Lauren Moss says Jawoyn sharing their country is an outstanding example of local people managing their lands, protecting their culture and delivering sustainable Aboriginal tourism in a way that will benefit generations to come.
“The 2019 Brolga Award’s highest honour this year could not be more deserving,” Minister Moss said.
“The Jawoyn Association continues to strive for excellence and innovation, sharing their culture with visitors to the Katherine region.”
The Brolga Awards celebrate the best NT tourism operators and businesses over the past year and the winners go on to compete in the national Australian Tourism Awards.
Nitmiluk Tours won its own top industry accolade with the Chairman’s Choice for Tourism Excellence award.
It also won the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism award and it’s Cicada Restaurant was awarded both the Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services and the Luxury Accommodation awards.
All three gongs were also won for the second year running.
Nitmiluk Tours chief executive officer and Jawoyn board director Jane Runyu-Fordimail says she’s thrilled at the recognition from her industry peers.
“We are proud to be recognised as we work to uphold the wishes of our elders and share our country,” Ms Runyu-Foridmail said.
“Importantly, it’s our staff and their dedication to their work and the company’s vision and offerings – from tours on the gorge to offering high-end five star accommodation and catering at Cicada – which are the key to our success.
“A very special thank-you to all staff at the Nitmiluk Tours and also the Jawoyn Association and Nitmiluk National Park.
“We would not be where we are today without any of them.”
The Jawoyn board chairperson Lisa Mumbin says it has been a special year for Jawoyn people.
“This year we celebrated 30 years since Nitmiluk was handed back,” Ms Mumbin said.
“We had a big celebration in the park on the day but we also celebrated with the entire community of the Katherine region with the Nitmiluk Festival.
“Many events we held for the Nitmiluk Festival were sold out – from the concert in the gorge to bird week and the special Journey of the Palate at Cicada Lodge.
“The information centre has closed and reopened with major upgrades and we’re working to establish a number of new facilities and activities across Nitmiluk National Park, from the mountain bike path to the cultural centre and Biddlecombe cascades camping.”
“It’s been a very successful year and we’re very happy to receive the awards – thank you.”