Kings Park and Botanic Garden is inviting local businesses employing, owned or run by Aboriginal people to provide a range of new commercial visitor experiences in the park.
The initiative has been prompted by demands from domestic and international visitors for authentic Aboriginal cultural experiences. According to recent Tourism WA data, 78 per cent of visitors to Western Australia seek an Aboriginal cultural experience. Interest from the local community to gain a greater understanding of Noongar culture is also increasing.
Information on how to apply is available at https://www.dbca.wa.gov.au/eoi
Individual site meetings with the Kings Park team are available for people interested in applying or obtaining further information. A site meeting can be arranged by contacting the team on (08) 9480 3600.
Support for new or emerging Aboriginal businesses who wish to develop their businesses and submit an expression of interest is available from organisations such as WAITOC (Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council), the Small Business Development Corporation and through businesses registered on the Aboriginal Business Directory WA. All applications will be independently assessed by a panel of experts.
This project is part of a broader plan by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions to encourage authentic cultural experiences and collaborations with Aboriginal businesses across WA.
As noted by Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
“Kings Park, known as Kaarta Koomba, is a very significant place for the Whadjuk Noongar people, with rich Aboriginal history, connection to country and cultural stories to share.
“We hope to attract a range of operators who will offer a variety of experiences that celebrate this unique and fascinating part of WA culture. Ideas include walking tours, storytelling, dance, art making or bush tucker experiences.
“This is a fantastic economic opportunity for Aboriginal people and provides great benefits for Kings Park, its visitors and the WA community.
“Support is available from organisations such as WAITOC to assist new operators to develop their businesses and submit an expression of interest.”
As noted by Tourism Minister Paul Papalia:
“The McGowan Government wants WA to be the premier State in Australia to experience Aboriginal culture and tourism and we are currently developing a cross-government action plan to help us achieve that goal.
“Seventy-eight per cent of visitors to WA in 2016-17 expressed an interest in Aboriginal tourism, and this enthusiasm has grown 19 per cent over the past five years.
“With the majority of Aboriginal tourism businesses currently located outside the Perth metropolitan area, this Kings Park initiative presents a great opportunity to expand offerings in the city.”