AccorHotels welcomed the Federal Minister for Employment Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash to the Sofitel Brisbane Central last week, discussing the organisations’ Indigenous Employment initiatives and introducing two of their top graduates from the AccorHotels Indigenous Job Ready program.
Former MAX Employment job seekers Dawnn Graham and Corey Wapau-Marshall greeted the Minister, discussing their success with AccorHotels thanks to the program. Dawnn, who now works as an Events and Conference Attendant for the luxury hotel, says the Indigenous Job Ready training program helped her find her feet at the Sofitel.
“I didn’t have any experience in hospitality so the program was good for me. We learned all about the hotel, how it works, what kind of positions they have for you and what you’d like to do in the hotel,” Dawnn explained. “I was so keen to work, so when I finished the course and they offered me a job, I said ‘I’ll never let you guys down hey, I really want this.’ And in two years I’ve never let them down.”
The Minister discussed Dawnn and Corey’s success with the program, and Dawn was proud to highlight her achievements to the Minister, including becoming the first of many Indigenous Australian to work at the Sofitel Brisbane in 2014, and working her way from entry-level attendant to Conference Attendant team leader.
“I’m proud of my achievements here,” she says. “Being the first Indigenous person to work at the Sofitel Brisbane Central is amazing, I tell everyone I meet and am always trying to bring more family and friends here to work.”
Dawnn and Corey were referred to the AccorHotels Indigenous Job Ready program via their employment service provider and AccorHotels partner MAX Employment. Dawnn says she’s glad she got her foot in the door with the Hotel, and feels that now the world is her oyster.
“There’s a lot of room to move here. If I wanted to transfer anywhere all I’d have to do is go to my supervisor and let them know. I’m interested in working at places like Ayers Rock Resort (Managed by AccorHotels on behalf of Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia) in the future to work with a big Indigenous community and make my way up to supervisor level as soon as possible,” she said.
It’s a vision that the organisation shares with Dawnn. AccorHotels, which employs over 10,000 staff nationally, is one of the first Australian businesses to join the Federal Government’s Employment Parity initiative with the commitment to reaching 660 new employment outcomes by 2018. The goal is 1,000 Indigenous career opportunities targeted by 2018.
AccorHotels’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples workforce now represents more than 4% of all employees, with the goal of reaching 7% by 2018.