This week’s Video Spotlight takes you out in the open to tropical North Queensland in Australia, where Willie Gordon of Gurrrbi Tours, an Aboriginal elder of the Guugu Yimithirr people, offers fascinating insight into the ancient culture of his ancestors.
For tens of thousands of years, the indigenous Aboriginal people of Australia have lived off the land, passing their knowledge from generation to generation. Recognition of this age-old heritage by the new culture implanted on the land by the British in 1788 has been long in coming.
Slowly but surely, though, there’s rising awareness that a visit to any part of Australia in 2012 could be more than about time simply spent in a ‘destination.’ Instead, it could be about a visit to someone’s ancient traditional home and include stories that instruct about how to understand and respect the land and its stewards. To those with an open mind, it could even be an opportunity to get in touch with our own roots and feel ourselves a part of the surrounding country.
This inspiring video footage gives us a glimpse of what we might experience as visitors, but also hints at the potential benefits of indigenous tourism to the local communities. Opening up and sharing their cultural heritage (in a way of their own choosing) with the outside world paves the way for the kind of acceptance and support that help keep invaluable but endangered traditions alive.
Willie Gordon sets a beautiful example of how memorable experiences, education and responsible business practices can be brought together for the better of everyone and we hope to see many more of such admirable initiatives involving both indigenous and non-indigenous cultures in Australia and beyond.