Aboriginal Culture

Jun 13th, 2005, 07:08 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 37
Aboriginal Culture

I will be returning to Australia for the 7th time In January for a 2 month stay. I will be staying in Melbourne while my wife visits with a Brother and Family. In the past I have gone on my own visiting such places as the mines at Coober Pedy, The Snowy Mountain Range on horseback and stays at Sheep Ranches.
The one thing that I have yet to do is experience the Aboriginal Culture. I do not want to walk through a cultural center or visit staged presentations (been there, done that). I would like a close up look at aboriginal life on a personal bases and to spend some time doing it. Can any one give me some ideas? I am not restricted to the Melbourne area and have the time to go by train, bus or even by air.
jdp08050 is offline  
Jun 13th, 2005, 07:33 PM
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Try Google "Aboriginal Culture" - there are a few interesting sites which might be a starting point.

As there are/were literally hundreds of Aboriginal tribes/groups, there isn't one "Aboriginal Culture" per se; each area/clan/group will have their own distinct culture & customs.

A number of the tour operators, particularly in NT & the top end of Qld, have Aboriginal guides, and it might be worth a call to one of those companies to see if they can refer you to someone who could advise you.

It would probably help if you can outline what you have in mind.

I have a contact in Darwin who might be able to help if you draw a blank with other avenues. He spent many years working with Aboriginals in the far reaches of NT. E-mail me if you like: [email protected]

Bokhara is offline  
Jun 13th, 2005, 08:12 PM
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I suggest that you make contact with the Koorie Heritage Trust in King St, Melbourne
They will be able to provide advice on access to the Aboriginal culture.
I have done a cultural awareness "course" auspiced by the Trust. It gave a real insight to a truly different and vibrant culture. The course was a live-in the community and was up on the Murray River out of Echuca (I can't remember the exact name of the place). It was a homeland of the Yorta Yorta people. The Trust is not commercial but managed and operated by the indigenous community
MissB99 is offline  
Jun 13th, 2005, 09:23 PM
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That's fantastic Miss B99, exactly what I hoped might be available for jdp0850 - but wasn't sure where to find it!
Would be interested to hear more about the course - where you went etc.
Bokhara is offline  
Jun 13th, 2005, 10:18 PM
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Hi Bokhara
I did it about 4or 5 years ago (wish I could remember the name of the settlement!!)We were housed with the elders, several of whom were part of the stolen generation, and ate traditional foods (a lot of meat type things), had a number of yarning sessions, went and looked at the mounds which the Yorta Yorta people based a lot of their land claim on (evidence of settlement and continous use/occupancy of the land), visited a community controlled health service, took part in a corroboree (limited to learning a few "dance" steps such as the emu), had a number of the dreamtime stories explained. Since this experience, I never think of floods as destructive as it was explained that floods are to replenish the waterways and nuture the wonderful Murray River gumtrees.
There was quite a lot of walking to the mounds, relics, sacred places etc. No TV or flushing toilets.
It was a great experience, very rewarding
MissB99 is offline  
Jun 14th, 2005, 01:05 PM
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Thank you MISSB99. I take the train into Melbourne often while my wife visits family. I think you hit the nail on the head. If I can't find the Koorie Heritage Trust on line, I will go there when I arrive in January or have Family that lives there check it out for me. Thanks
jdp08050 is offline  
Jun 29th, 2005, 04:32 AM
Join Date: May 2004
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Just seen your query. There is a company called Desert Tracks that offers tours up to about 5 days living with aboriginal people in the central australian desert - this is no "show" but the real thing but involves bush camping
mted is offline  
Jun 29th, 2005, 06:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Here is a list of aboriginal 'tour' operators:


We went to the town of Manyallaluk (aboriginaltouroperators.com.au/blackpages/nt/manyallaluk.html), south of Katherine, were we spent two days, being taken on bushwalks with guides, and learning how to eat traditional bush 'tucker' as well as some crafts. It was not at all a slick tour, just some fellows from town showing us around. I thought it was quite interesting.

We also went on the Lilla (Sweetwater) aboriginal tour, which is in Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon). While also very interesting, the 'town' of Lilla no longer exists, but is merely a small oasis that a few aboriginal descendents have made into a small low-key tour destination.

We have not done this, but friends have - visiting the Tiwi Islands, about 100km north of Darwin (www.tourismtopend.com.au/region/tiwi.htm). While not strictly Australian Aborigines, the Tiwi culture remains in a more untouched state, and you can go on multi-day cultural experiences there. Our friends were deeply impressed and touched by their 5-day tour that they took a few years ago.
ALF is offline  
Jun 29th, 2005, 02:24 PM
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Not much use for January, but others may be interested, the Dance and Cultural Festival at Laura, outback north Queensland is held every second June. This brings many Aboriginal communities together, people from Cairns, Torres St, Palm and Mornington Islands, Northern Territory etc. 2005 Festival which focused on indigeneous children is just over and was a resounding success. Laura is also famous for its ancient Aboriginal rock art.
pat_woolford is offline  

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