Here at Ayers Rock Resort, we are proud to operate the National Indigenous Training Academy (NITA). This unique program provides an assortment of training and employment pathways for Indigenous Australians. Since 2011, over 500 young Indigenous Australians have successfully completed the program, earning nationally recognised qualifications in fields like hospitality, tourism, retail, and horticulture.

NITA is an incredibly valuable program, and we want to share more about it with you. And what better way to do this, than by speaking with those participating in the program right now? We reached out to a trainer, Jade Cooke, and a trainee, Amos Tom, to learn more about NITA. Here’s what they had to say.


Jade Cooke, Training Coordinator

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Could you please tell readers your name as well as your role at NITA?

My name is Jade Cooke, I am the NITA Training Coordinator.

What is your favourite part about being a Training Coordinator at NITA?

Definitely seeing the trainees develop their skills as they participate in the program. Trainees come from all over Australia to be part of NITA. And when they arrive, many of them are understandably shy, unsure, and lacking confidence. As the weeks go by, I can see changes in so many of them. I get the opportunity to watch them grow, build confidence, resilience, and increase self-worth during the traineeship. They are achieving for themselves, and it’s wonderful to watch.

Training session
Ayers Rock staff meeting

How many trainees do you get to work within a year?

We have about 80 trainees at the moment, but in some years we could see anywhere up to 120.

What should potential trainees hope to gain from your course at NITA?

They should hope to gain a solid foundation for them to continue to build their careers. For the entirety of their journey, trainees have the support they need to develop, grow, and learn. They gain a lot more than a Certificate III, including independence, self-worth, and drive to realise they can achieve their goals with hard work and determination.

Are there specific skills, abilities, or interests needed to qualify for this training and employment program?

Yes! A can-do attitude, and a want to learn. We would love you to bring a beautiful smile.

Thanks again, Jade. We really appreciate your time.

Thank you for having me!


Amos Tom, NITA Trainee

What is your name, and which traineeship are you completing with NITA?

My name is Amos Tom, and I’m working toward completing my Certificate III Hospitality.

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! What do you like most about the NITA program?

I like the lifestyle. I also really enjoy learning with the trainers and having the opportunity to develop my skills. And it’s exciting to meet so many new people from all over Australia with backgrounds different from my own.

How do you feel being a trainee in the NITA program helps you gain the necessary skills to find employment?

NITA offers more than just training, I also have opportunities to get real on-the-job learning. It’s one thing to learn about the work, it’s another to actually have a chance to do it! So along the way, I’m developing skills to work in the hospitality industry.

Reception training
staff training

What are the benefits of working with Trainers, mentors, employers and colleagues?

I’m always learning. New skills, new ideas, new ways to do things — my knowledge is continually growing. Working with other trainees is comfortable because we’re all here for the same reasons. We’re looking for the skills to succeed, so we’re all really supportive of each other.

What advice would you give to future trainees who are considering the program?

Stay hungry to experience new things, be positive, and listen to the trainers and managers so you can learn and build confidence. It is hard being away from family, but everyone is in the same boat. It is an excellent opportunity to make a difference, take on a challenge, and build a bigger, better you. You will see the opportunities to make positive changes for yourself.

We couldn’t have said it better!

Thanks again to Jade Cooke and Amos Tom for taking the time to speak with us about NITA. You can learn more about this exciting program here.