At TRC Tourism, our values are trust, respect and collaboration. These are at the core of every project we work on, when dealing with clients, the community and other stakeholders.

They are particularly prevalent in our Indigenous tourism projects, where great emphasis is placed on relationship building. Gaining a deep understanding of Country and Community, and the community’s aspirations and needs, is essential every step of the way.

Our Alice Springs-based Senior Consultant, Tracey Diddams and our newly appointed specialist First Nations Tourism partner Victor Cooper have been building their professional and personal relationship over years of jobs, businesses and projects. They first started as work colleagues together in 2012 at Kakadu National Park, with Victor as a Traditional Owner and Board Member and Tracey as the Tourism and Visitor Services Manager.

They have since worked as cross-cultural consultants, researchers and project managers, business way and cultural way mentors for one another. And importantly for both of them, they have become great friends. Tracey and Victor are currently working together with the Northern Territory Government and Northern Territory Aboriginal Tourism Committee, and contributing their lifetimes of learning and expertise to the development of the Northern Territory Aboriginal Cultural Tourism Framework.

Along with our client Sarah Gorst of South Coast Seaweed, Tracey and Victor are participating in the Indigenous Truth Telling Plenary Session at the Australian Regional Tourism Convention in Newcastle today. If you’re there, make sure you say hello – they would love to have a chat.

There will be many topics covered in the session, including the benefits of using a cross-cultural approach to Indigenous Tourism and Indigenous Business projects.

Victor and Tracey’s insights from their work together include:

  • People are more comfortable speaking with an Indigenous and non-Indigenous person as they understand the knowledge and experience each of us brings. It also helps that we have both the ‘men’s side’ and ‘women’s side’ represented.
  • It’s important that when planning tourism or community solutions, these come from the people from that land. They know what has been happening, they live there, they need to be the ones to decide how to ‘make it happen’, as they will be the ones to ‘make it happen’ in the future.
  • In any relationship, especially cross-cultural, it is important to acknowledge and respect what each of us bring to share and support one another. Victor’s cultural knowledge, kinship links, understanding of cultural law and ways of reading Country are his strengths. Tracey’s ability to ‘speak government’ and skills in ‘business way’ and ‘tourism way’ are her strengths. By working together, our strengths are combined, enabling us to deliver an approach that follows both ‘cultural way’ and ‘business way’ protocols.

“We look forward to listening, learning and sharing the insights from this important conversation of walking together and working together,” Tracey said.

Tracey and Victor pictured at a lookout point. Tracey and Victor working side by side.

Images: Tracey and Victor pictured working in various locations over the years.