WHEN GIVING COMES NATURALLY | Business philanthropy at Scenic World, NSW
When giving has always been an ingrained family value, it’s only natural that it’s incorporated into the way you do business – especially if your business has been family owned for over 7 decades.
Advanced Ecotourism Certified Scenic World, Australia’s most-visited privately owned tourism attraction and winner of numerous industry awards, has this year formalised its long legacy of generosity by setting up Scenic World Shared to demonstrate its commitment to leaving a legacy on its World Heritage-listed environment and the local community.
Owner and Managing Director of Scenic World, Anthea Hammon, says philanthropy is just a natural progression of something her family has been doing for generations.
“My grandmother used to donate and do community fundraising activities all the time, so it’s always been at the heart of our family and our business,” she notes.
It’s only this year that we’ve formalised these activities into Scenic World Shared.”
Built upon three key pillars – community, education and environment – Scenic World Shared was established to not only contribute financially to the health and wellbeing of the local environment and Blue Mountains communities, but more importantly to build capacity and invest in long-term sustainable growth in the region.
Through four key partners, Scenic World Shared directs 3% of the company’s profits to areas which staff, visitors and local residents have identified as being most important.
These partners are:
- The Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute (supported through funding a part time marketing & communications position, supporting key projects, providing staff and Scenic World visitors with a greater understanding of ecology and supporting a tourism industry specific education program)
- The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (supported through back to school vouchers for families in need and the Small Grants for Rural Communities program)
- Schools Plus (supported through funding a part time community liaison officer position at Katoomba High School, developing a staff-led mentoring program and developing post-schooling career development projects for students)
- Western Sydney University (supported through scholarships for ambitious Blue Mountains residents from disadvantaged backgrounds looking to study environmental science or tourism management)
So why these four partnerships?
“We care deeply about the environment, and about the community in which we live and work. And we need to be custodians for our generation and for the one to come,” says Ms Hammon.
So what advice does Ms Hammon have for other tourism businesses and operators looking to engage in more giving and philanthropy?
“Any giving is good giving! Do it for the right reasons, but know that it also builds rapport with your customers. So – when you give, tell people about it. Your customers will love to know that what you’re doing is making a positive difference.”