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Australia’s Best Guides – Bart Pigrim – Aboriginal Culture in Broome

Please explain a little bit about who you are and what you do as an Aboriginal cultural guide in Broome.
I am a Yawuru man of the Broome region in the Kimberley of Western Australia and I offer a variety of experiences that blends the beauty of the region with its unique and fascinating history and culture of the Aboriginal people!

What got you started as an Aboriginal cultural guide and what do you find most interesting about it?
I was one of two Emerging Curators in my previous employment and was involved in several curatorial projects that stimulated my curiosities and so I developed a passion for history and the survival of my Aboriginal culture and language. This led me to start my tourism operations. The most interesting part of it is that I actually have a direct link to our amazing history in Broome and that my culture is embedded within the landscape of Broome so I truly have a deeper connection with all my experiences that I offer.

How do you bring Aboriginal culture to life on your tours?
I think of myself as a ‘curator out on country’ and that the natural and built environment is my museum. By using historical documents and Aboriginal story telling / oral history I am able to give my guests a true understanding of who and what we are as a people and when and where certain historical events took place.

Why do you think it’s important that people learn about Aboriginal culture?
I think Domestic and International visitors in Australia are becoming more and more curious about our ancient Aboriginal culture and I believe it is our responsibility as Aboriginal people to provide opportunities for these visitors to learn about us! I always say that this is ‘reconciliation’ in practice!

If people wanted to find out more about Aboriginal Culture are there any particular books, documentaries or websites you would recommend?
Broome has been well documented over the past 140 years but there are some stand out books about our Aboriginal people and story including – Lustre- Pearling and Australia
Gularabulu
Reading the Country
Once in Broome
This is My Word
Yawuru Cultural Management Plan
Re-imagining Australia
www.bates.org.au
www.yawuru.com
www.goolarri.com

What’s your favourite Australian animal and why?
The Black Kite because there are many in Broome and they have an affinity with fire like myself.

What place is Australia’s best-kept secret?
The Dinosaur Coast of the West Kimberley region!

What haven’t you seen / done in Australia that you’d like to and why?
I would like to see more of the east coast of Australia because I haven’t spent much time exploring there and understanding the Aboriginal cultures for that coastline!

Finally, how can people follow you on social media?
https://www.instagram.com/narlijia/
https://www.facebook.com/narlijia/

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Ultimate Kakadu Experience with Bamurru Plains

Immerse yourself in the stone country of awe-inspiring World Heritage Listed Kakadu National Park – one of Australia’s greatest strongholds of Aboriginal rock art and culture. The Ultimate Kakadu Experience is the latest addition at Bamurru Plains and is available with a 3 or 4 night stay. After fantastic rain in the Top End, the floodplains of Bamurru are looking incredible, with vivid colours and clouds putting on a show. In addition, the abundance of wildlife that has already returned is a sign for a fabulous season ahead in 2017 so a visit to Kakadu is the icing on the cake.

Bamurru Plains - Melaleuca Forest Airboat
Bamurru Plains – Melaleuca Forest

Kakadu covers an amazing 20,000 square-kilometres and is recognised for its incredible natural beauty and also its cultural significance to the Aboriginal people who have inhabited the area for over 50,000 years. Experience ancient rock art, beautiful rocky escarpment country and a diverse ecosystem, with about one third of all Australia’s bird species in the park!

Kakadu - Image credit: Peter Boer
Kakadu – Image credit: Peter Boer

The experience

Just a short hop from Bamurru Plains by light aircraft across the river systems that separate Bamurru Plains from Kakadu brings you to the heart of this country. Rock art galleries reveal stories of Aboriginal people and their ancient culture. Textures of colours, vistas across savannah woodlands and floodplains provide a sense of the spirituality of this ancient landscape.

From rock overhangs and caves at Ubirr Rock (think classic scenes from Crocodile Dundee) to the meandering waters of the East Alligator River that drains from the stone country of Arnhem Land and marks the boundary between Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land, this day will expose the senses to country that is rich in Aboriginal culture, flora and fauna.

Aboriginal Rock Art - Ubirr - Image credit: Peter Boer
Aboriginal Rock Art at Ubirr in Kakadu – Image credit: Peter Boer

Travelling with Wild Bush Luxury’s field guides in our custom built vehicle, your day will include a bush picnic lunch and the chance to spend time with an Aboriginal guide on the waters of the East Alligator River before returning overland, with a stop at the Bowali Visitor Centre, returning in time for sundowner drinks, canapes and the comfort of the safari lodge as the sun sets over Bamurru Plains.

Your Kakadu Day Trip is available to be booked as a shared excursion with other Bamurru Plains guests on a Tuesday or Friday or a private option on all other days of the week.

 

Australia’s Best Guides – Juan Walker | Aboriginal Culture

Juan Walker (Aboriginal name Karanba), is a Kuku Yalanji man from the Mossman/Daintree area and has been working as a tour guide in this region for fifteen years.

Juan regularly spends time with elders of the Kuku Yalanji people, hearing stories of the history, traditions, and culture, stories and information he holds dear to him, for his family and also shares as part of his tours, as he believes it is through the learning and sharing of his culture to all people, that an understanding and respect for Aboriginal beliefs is created, and this aids in the reconciliation process.

Please explain a little bit about who you are and what you do?

I am the owner/operator of Walkabout Cultural Adventures, a tour business operating in Tropical North Queensland, that offers unique tours focusing on Aboriginal culture, significant sites, environmental information and local tourist attractions. I have been guiding in the region for 15 years, having lived in this region my entire life. Walkabout Cultural Adventures offer interpersonal Aboriginal cultural based tours with small numbers on a half or full day basis.

What got you started with your passion and what do you find most interesting about it?

Previously I was employed at Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa as the Aboriginal Activities Co-ordinator, and it was there I learnt the many facets of the tourism and hospitality industry. I saw that there was no Aboriginal cultural experiences that offered half and full day tours around the region, so I decided to start my own business. I have always enjoyed spending time with elders of my people, the Kuku Yalanji people, and it is from hearing their stories of the history, traditions, and culture, that form the basis of my tours. I enjoy learning and sharing my culture with all interested people.

How do you bring Aboriginal culture to life on your tours?

Given that the information I tell on tour is relevant to actual places we visit, and my own family history, it brings itself to life.

Why do you think it’s important that people learn about Aboriginal culture?

Aboriginal culture is significant to Australia’s history. I like to think that through the learning and sharing of my culture and history, that an understanding and respect for Aboriginal beliefs is created, and this aids in the reconciliation process.

What’s your favourite Australian animal and why?

Crocodile, we call it Bilngkumu in our language. It is our totem.

What place is Australia’s best-kept secret?

The Daintree rainforest.

What haven’t you seen / done in Australia that you’d like to and why?

Sections of the Western Australian coast, I’d love to see the desert meet the ocean, and the different wildlife.

Finally, how can people follow you on social media?

Facebook – www.facebook.com/WalkaboutCulturalAdventures
Twitter – www.twitter.com/WalkaboutFNQ

 

Click here to find out more about Australian travel with Alquemie