Significant Step Up Into Hotel Industry

Awatere Douglas with another staff member at Sudima Lake Rotorua.

Article Courtesy of Sunlive.

A successful young Rotorua man is calling for fellow young Maori to follow in his footsteps and consider a career in the city’s booming tourism industry.


Awatere Douglas, 23, who received the Sudima Hotels and Ngati Whakaue Education Endowment Trust Board Scholarship in its inaugural year, excelled throughout his placement and is now a valued member of the Sudima Lake Rotorua’s team in his dual roles of Hotel Duty Manager and Group Cultural Ambassador.

He is now urging other members of his iwi to come forward and apply for the scholarship as it opens for its fourth round this month.

“I can’t stress enough how much this scholarship has meant to me and enabled me to purse a great career. It’s an extremely rewarding position to be in, and there is a lot of room for career growth,” says Awatere.

The scholarship was established in 2014 to encourage Rotorua youth like Awatere into hotel leadership roles, giving them a hand up to the industry. However, Sudima Hotels has found that only a handful of applicants are coming forward for the opportunity.

“I want to let others in my community know that there are great opportunities out there waiting for them; this scholarship opens a lot of doors for a school leaver, providing the opportunity to fast track a career that may not have thought possible,” says Awatere.

The scholarship programme includes one-year of paid work experience at Sudima Lake Rotorua and a full scholarship to any New Zealand Tertiary Institute, to complete a minimum Degree Level qualification in hotel or hospitality management.

During their studies, Sudima Hotels supports the student with continued work placement and a permanent job offer on returning to Rotorua. 

“This scholarship was created to foster careers for young Maori in the area, and we hope more applicants will come forward this year so that we can continue to fulfil its purpose,” says Sudima Hotels Talent and Culture Director, Phillipa Gimmillaro.

“It’s a great initiative because in turn, it strengthens our relationship with our local iwi and students within the community, and provides career growth opportunities for our young people.”

“Hiring locally is great because after all, it’s our locals who know Rotorua and its history best, and our empolyees’ cultural knowledge is what makes our guest’s experience all the more special.”

Applications for the 2020 NWEE-Sudima Scholarship are now open and close on November 17th 2019.  Click here for further information.