Robert Taylor Appointed to Ecotourism Australia Board of Directors

by | Jul 31, 2023 | Article

Ecotourism Australia is honoured to welcome Robert Taylor, proud Nhanda Yamaji man and CEO of Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council (WAITOC), to the Ecotourism Australia Board of Directors.

Robert Taylor Board Member

Robert brings more than 38 years of expertise in the hospitality and tourism industry having owned and managed a diverse range of businesses across the sectors. Robert has worked for the past eight years as Chief Executive Officer of WAITOC raising the profile of Indigenous tourism in Western Australia. He successfully delivered the Aboriginal Tourism Development Program which has grown 39 new Aboriginal businesses and supported First Nations employment across Western Australia.

Chair of Ecotourism Australia, Dr Claire Ellis said the appointment was welcomed by the Board.

“As an organisation, we are committed to supporting tourism businesses with continuous improvement across the four pillars of sustainability, of which cultural engagement and respect is a significant aspect.

Robert’s vast knowledge and experience in Indigenous tourism will ensure Ecotourism Australia remains at the forefront of sustainability in Australia and internationally. We are pleased to welcome Robert to the Ecotourism Australia Board of Directors.”

Over the course of his career, Robert has established himself as a leading advocate to government for Indigenous tourism across Australia. His appointment to the Board will strengthen Ecotourism Australia’s foothold as a global leader in eco and sustainable tourism and ensure our cultural sustainability standards align with best practise First Nations collaboration and engagement.

“I am pleased to join the Board of Ecotourism Australia and help further shape the future of this reputable organisation. I look forward to advancing Ecotourism Australia’s influential work in responsible tourism and making a positive difference by imparting a First Nation’s perspective to their strategic planning and future direction,” Mr Taylor said.

Robert is a trusted voice to state and federal governments advocating for funds and support for Indigenous tourism development and promotion across Australia and successfully advocated for $40 million investment into Aboriginal tourism nationally. He worked with the Western Australian government to help develop the Jina: WA Aboriginal Tourism Action Plan 2021-25, a $20 million investment into Aboriginal tourism for the state.

Dr Ellis also acknowledged the recent resignation of Directors Innes Larkin from Mount Barney Lodge who has been on the Board since 2016 and has held ECO certification for more than 20 years, and Dr Noreen Breakey from the University of Queensland, who has been on the Board since 2019.

“We are deeply grateful to both Directors for their energy, commitment, and contribution to Ecotourism Australia. They have supported the organisation during a period of significant growth and brought unique and credible perspectives from a certified operator, business, academic and industry view,” Dr Ellis said.

“We look forward to ongoing connections with both as they continue to be leaders in their fields and champions of sustainable tourism and positive impact tourism work.”

There will be three Director positions available for election at the 2023 Ecotourism Australia Annual General Meeting in October.


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