Australia’s South West news blast
Margaret River’s Cape Cultural Tours has added a unique coastal fishing tour to their range of Cape Naturaliste Indigenous experiences.
The new Djiljit (a traditional word meaning ‘fish’) Coastal Experience sees visitors fishing with traditional Wadandi custodians in the spectacular seascape of Meelup Regional Park, and the Capes region.
“The local Aboriginal people named Meelup “place of looking at the moon rising” because the full moon appears to rise out the sea,” says Cape Cultural Tours owner Josh Whiteland. “Wadandi fish by the phases of the moon, and the crystal-clear waters here are home to herring, salmon and bream.
“Your guide will pass on the stories of the ‘boodja’ country, during a walk along the pristine coastline. It’s common to see dolphins, whales and schools of fish from the coastal ridge, depending on which of the six Aboriginal seasons we are in.”
“Visitors learn how these seasons influence what the Wadandi gather and hunt as the guide explains the area’s flora and fauna and teaches you how to prepare your fish and forage for your salad, Whiteland says. “Ultimately, everyone enjoys a BBQ lunch on location!”
The new fishing experience complements Cape Cultural Tours’ two other products: A 90-minute ‘Kaya’ Cape Experience featuring a Welcome to Country and didgeridoo performance; and a longer 2.5 hour Cape Cultural Experience where a 2.5km walk, traditional stories and coastal foraging conclude with interactive didgeridoo, native food tastings and refreshments.
The Djiljit tour operates February to May annually, and is suitable for couples, families and small groups. The experience includes all fishing gear and beach towels, a BBQ lunch cooked on location served with Margaret River Region beer, wines and refreshments.
Cape Cultural Tours has been operating for two years and is owned by Whiteland, whose award-winning sister business Koomal Dreaming has been established in Dunsborough for several years.
For more information visit www.capeculturaltours.com.au.
New Aboriginal owned and operated art gallery opens in Denmark, Great Southern
Australia’s South West are proud to announce the opening of the new Poornarti Art Gallery in Denmark, located in the Great Southern region of Western Australia. Poornarti Art Gallery is the first Aboriginal-owned gallery in the region.
Poornarti Aboriginal Tours owner Joey Williams says the gallery was a natural extension of the current tour business that he operates with his partner Catherine Mercer.
“The opening of Poornarti Art Workshop & Gallery is a great extension to our business and part of the overall development of our tourism and creative product,” Mr Williams says. “We’re working with Noongar artists to give them an outlet where they can display and sell their art, craft and artefacts. It will be a ‘must do’ on the tourist trail through the South West and Great Southern regions.”
Poornarti Aboriginal Tours is a successful business, part of the Aboriginal Tourism Development Program, which is a Western Australian State Government initiative administered by Tourism WA and delivered by WA Indigenous Tourism Operators Council (WAITOC).
“The opening of the gallery demonstrates that the program is achieving its key objective of supporting new and existing Aboriginal Tourism Operators and accelerating their progress where possible,” says WAITOC CEO Robert Taylor. “The program also delivers important networking links to the mainstream tourism industry and provides opportunities to attend trade events targeting an international market.”
Mr Terry Redman, Member for Warren-Blackwood congratulated Joey Williams and Catherine Mercer on the opening of Poornarti Aboriginal Gallery in Denmark.
“It is wonderful to see the award-winning Poornarti Aboriginal Tours expand to now having a gallery dedicated to original Aboriginal art,” Mr Terry says. “I am particularly pleased to see the Royalties for Regions investment through the Aboriginal Tourism Development Program reach this level of success in only a few years.
“This demonstrates that with some business and marketing coaching, emerging and market ready Aboriginal businesses can really take off. The Great Southern region has previously not promoted tourist access to Aboriginal heritage and culture, so it is exciting to see this business flourish and support complementary businesses in the region.”
Since starting the business in 2015, Poornarti Aboriginal Tours have grown and in late 2017 won the Albany Chamber of Commerce & Industry Business Awards categories of ‘Working Together Aboriginal Business’ and ‘Start Up and Innovation”. Poornarti then went on to win the State Award for Aboriginal Business at the Small Business Development Corporation’s Regional Business Awards in September 2017.
The gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday from 9am till 5pm, and Monday – Tuesday by prior arrangement. For more information visit www.poornarti.com.au.
Acclaimed Australian artist Troy Bennell holds inaugural “Ngany” exhibition at Bunbury’s Maker + Co
Supported by WA Indigenous Tourism Operators Council (WAITOC) and the City of Bunbury, Ngany Troy Bennell showcases a series of acclaimed Australian artist Troy Bennell’s powerful works, and give attendees the opportunity to add a signature Noongar piece to their art collection.
Bennell, who also owns and runs popular Indigenous tour company Ngalang Wongi Aboriginal Cultural Tours, has travelled extensively throughout Europe and Asia as an artist, cultural performer, gallery curator and ambassador for tourism in Australia. He has been involved with many public art projects in and around Bunbury, with the closest to his heart being works that celebrate and commemorate the historical and cultural contributions of the local Noongar people in the region.
Catch the exhibition, curated by Maker + Co creative director Colette McEntee, from March 17-23 at Maker + Co in Bunbury.