Indigenous tourism benefited by Uni start-up

Published on : Saturday, July 23, 2016

QueenslandTourists are getting to know more about the indigenous communities of Queensland by a start-up created by two Queensland University students.

 
The two students are UQ alumnus Anastasios Pogiatzis and Hasan Mirioglu, who graduates on Friday 22 July.The name of their start-up is Tourigin. Through this, Indigenous people can share their heritage and culture with various tourism activities.

 
Anastasios said that they are dedicated towards taking it to a certain level, through which tourists will be share to their cultural experiences.

 
He said, “I love connecting people from different backgrounds, spreading the word about the world’s oldest communities and fostering mutual respect and understanding.”
Tourigin aims at connecting native tour operators with responsible tourists, and offers tours in Stradbroke Island, Toowoomba, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Logan, and Sunshine Coast.

 
Tours mark genuine native bush tucker, storytelling, dance, art and survival skills.

 
Hasan said that he was inspired because of his upbringing in Turkey.

 
He said, “I was born into a family which is part of a small ethnic group in Southern Turkey. Because of our ethnic and religious differences, we have experienced discrimination from majority groups in the region for many decades. We can’t celebrate our traditions or speak in our native language in public. I’ve always felt connected to the Australian indigenous community because they’ve had similar experiences and challenges.

 

Social entrepreneurs come up with innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing social problems, and we think we have come up with a way of overcoming some of these historical difficulties and creating strong connections with the wider community.

 

Indigenous culture has a lot to offer. Our tour groups gain a whole new perspective on life and the world around them.”

 
It all began as class assessment in a UQ Business School Master of Business social entrepreneurship course. However, Hasan and Anastasios decided to go on with it during their free time, providing the funds themselves and managing it with a group of volunteers.

 
Dr Lance Newey, social entrepreneurship lecturer and UQ tourism professors guided them in their endeavour.

 
Anastasios said that they want to spread this to regions in Australia and in some parts of Eastern Europe, along with hoping to make it a global platform someday with everyone getting the chance to share his or her own indigenous culture.

 
Along with other projects, they have also introduced a start-up called Puranda, a social venture selling tailor-made up cycled clothes online. The main aim of this project is to create consciousness about the troubles caused by “fast fashion”, and asking people to change the way they shop.

 
Hasan said that the degree that they got gave them a lot of openings to hone their business skills.

 
He said, “Studying at UQ showed me how to execute an idea from start to finish and allowed me to see the world through different eyes.”

 
4500 students will graduate from UQ this July, and around 400 research higher degrees. Together, the number of UQ graduates stands at more than 236,000 globally and also more than 12,350 PhDs in at least 170 countries.

 
This community has famous names like Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, the founders of Wotif.com, Nobel Prize winner Professor Peter Doherty actor Geoffrey Rush, Eurovision Song Contest runner-up Dami Im, and President of the University of California Professor Sam Hawgood, among various others.

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