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Marriott to Partner with Indigenous Austrailians


New Pilot Program with AIMSC Creates Business Opportunities for Indigenous Australians

Bethesda, MD.- Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) announced a partnership today with the Australian Indigenous Minority Supplier Council (AIMSC) as the first lodging company to participate in a pilot program through 2012. The program will help identify local suppliers to provide services for multiple hotels in Australia.

Message Stick will be the first Indigenous Australian supplier to work with Marriott International and will supply Marriott hotels in Australia with audio and web teleconferencing services beginning Oct. 1.

“We are thrilled to partner with the AIMSC,” said Bill Hartwig, vice president, global supplier relations. “This partnership is reflective of our company goals to mirror the communities in which we live and work. As we continue to expand globally, we will seek to identify opportunities to sustain and support local communities through our supplier diversity efforts.”

Indigenous businessman Michael McLeod, CEO of Message Stick Group, has been the driving force behind this project. “The Prime Minister asked for more and better collaboration when he announced the Government’s Closing The Gap policy commitment. We have answered that call and provided a model which we hope will play a role in breaking down Indigenous welfare dependency over the long term. It will give Indigenous people a better chance to engage with Australia’s economy and create employment and wealth within our communities.”

Australia’s Minister for Employment Participation, Senator the Hon Mark Arbib and the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, the Hon Jenny Macklin MP is committed to promoting Indigenous economic development, and the success of Indigenous businesses as a key part in the national effort to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.

Earlier this year, Marriott announced it has nearly doubled its 2003 goal to spend US$1 billion with diverse suppliers in the U.S., spending $1.9 billion. Marriott aims to generate the same success outside of the U.S. and currently operates supplier diversity programs in China and the U.K.


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