Opening of Hotel Etico
The official opening of Hotel Etico in Mount Victoria on 5 June was a special day that celebrated the hard work of the many people involved in the set-up of Australia’s first social enterprise hotel. VFFF is a seed funder of Project Etico, alongside Paul and Sandra Salteri.
The enterprise provides supported employment and independent living opportunities to young people with intellectual disability aimed at helping them to achieve their independence goals. The hotel opened its doors for guests in November 2020 and the inaugural group of six hospitality trainees started in February 2021. The training program is based on a model that started in Italy, with the aim of helping a young man with Down syndrome, Niccoló Vallese, secure his dream of working in a hotel. Niccoló was the first ever trainee in the Etico social franchise model and there are now hotels open in Italy, Argentina and Albania. Across the operating hotels, 80 hospitality interns are in training and 184 have graduated with 68% of them moving on to open employment. It is hoped that the Mount Victoria Etico will be the first of many Hotel Etico’s in Australia.
At the opening, VFFF Deputy Chair Ruth Armytage AM spoke about the compelling vision of the Etico model as well as the Fairfax family links to the building that Hotel Etico calls home, Mount Victoria Manor. The Manor was built as a country retreat for John Fairfax in 1876 and still bears visible signs of the Fairfax family, like the insignia embedded in the building façade.
In just a few months Hotel Etico has been going from strength to strength and as a family Foundation we are very proud to be involved in this wonderful project.
Hotel Etico trainees with Ambassador of Italy to Australia Francesca Tardioli, State Member for Blue Mountains Trish Doyle MP and Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman MP.