Hotel Etico, where holidays change lives

Breaking Barriers

22-10-2021 • 39 mins

In this episode of Breaking Barriers, host Natalie Jones talks to the inspiring minds behind Australia’s first Hotel Etico - a social enterprise hotel that provides work and training for young people with intellectual disabilities. Discover how the team knocks down barriers and changes perceptions, while creating pathways to open employment.
Our guest is Stella Sgambellone, someone who has taken a step back from working in businesses driven by profit and decided she wants to make a real difference. As General Manager of Hotel Etico, Stella found her place, somewhere she can shift community perspective of people with intellectual disabilities.
● We meet Stella and hear her story and explanation of Hotel Etico. 1.52-3.49
● The background of Hotel Etico is explained, and Stella expands on the process of opening the hotel. 3.49-11.17
● The importance of shifting community perceptions of people with disabilities is explored. 11.17-15.37
● Trainee Development Manager Samantha and trainee Georgia discuss their experiences. 15.37-26.00
● Trainee and guest success stories are covered. 29.07-32.05
● Samantha and Georgia explain the impact of the work on their lives. 32.05-35.34
● Stella discusses the local community involvement. 35.34-38.31

“When you've got a perceived idea of somebody's capabilities, you create boundaries, and we want to knock down those boundaries. We want to be able to open up whatever opportunities are available so that people can flourish. And we want to demonstrate how to do that.”

“So, what I would say to potential employers is - when you're considering employing someone with a disability, or indeed anybody, it's really about opening up your mind to how they can add value to your organisation.”

“I think that's probably my favourite part of Hotel Etico, that we push and we see that potential and we get to bring that out of them with them. Not standing over the top of them and telling them that they can do better, but with them. That it's a mutual journey of seeing how much we can grow and what we can achieve in this space.”