10 Aboriginal Cultural Experiences to Immerse Yourself In

10 Aboriginal Cultural Experiences to Immerse Yourself In

By Famous Sharron

Kayah dolls,

As the Face of Wah (WA) I’ve met so many wonderful people, and had so much fun across Westralia.

And now, with all flights to Bali cancelled, more and more people are asking me what they can do in this fabulous state (apart from just telling Netflix “Yes… I AM still watching this…”)

Some of my most memorable travels have been the ones that connected me to the richness of Aboriginal culture and the experiences of First Nation’s People.

Here’s a few for you to try too.

xx Shaz

Famous Sharron and Walter McGuire from Go Cultural Tours being followed by the paparazzi at PRIDE WA 2019 (Photography by Jason Matz)

Gin Gin Observatory

See the stars [apart from me!] at Gingin Observatory. They even do courses if you can’t get enough in one night.

Join us for one of our Aboriginal Astronomy sessions where you will sit with Indigenous elder, Dr Noel Nannup, and explore the dark Western sky and learn about the Aboriginal dreamtime stories of creation. You will then head over to our observatory where you will look through our telescopes at the wonders of our universe.

Bindi Bindi Dreaming Bushtucker and Cultural Tours

One of my favourite people in the world is Marissa Verma. I’ve learnt so much from her cooking classes [two words for you dolls, lemon myrtle] and she also does great walkabout tours on country. I can’t recommend her enough.

Bindi Bindi Dreaming strives to deliver a 100% Authentic Aboriginal guided tours to visitors from both the Domestic and International tourism market as well as local people living here in Perth and surrounds. Bind Bindi Dreaming is about showcasing our unique culture of Perth in Western Australia. The delivery of Aboriginal guided tours will help create awareness about Aboriginal culture in a positive way.

Public ones will be coming back online soon but in the meantime, book a customised one for you and your friends!

Marissa from Bindi Bindi Dreaming and Famous Sharron

Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre

If you’re new to Perth, Freo [Walyalup] is a great place to take the family or leave them at home for some me-time. Whether solo or in a group, this is a fab place to drop by for gifts and they do tours too.

Learn about the Aboriginal Dreamtime, observe Aboriginal art and craft being created (basket weaving, wood carving and burning jewellery), and visit the tourist art and gift shops. Check their website for tour info around the Bay area!

Bundy’s Cultural Tours

Learn about the Bardi people with Bundy, discover the local uses of all the plants you’d normally walk by and even how to make spears and boomerangs!

Join Bundy on his fish poisoning tour and witness how the local Bardi people use a native plant to stun fish and learn about the reef and the fascinating marine life. Take a walk with Bundy on a bush tucker tour and discover the local use for many of the native plants in the area.
Bundy is also able to show you how to make spears and boomerangs and how to use them. While on Bundy’s tour you will learn about the local history, culture and traditions of Bardi people.

Dreaming in the Quay Perth Cultural Tour

Get the quay to the city with this fabulous tour learning about dreamtime stories and the Derbal Yerrigan [Swan River] in front the iconic Perth City skyline.

Dreaming in the Quay is about interacting with your local guide and opening your mind by experiencing true traditional dreamtime stories. You will get to experience the Quay in the early evening surrounded by the rays of fluorescent lights from Perth City creating a beautiful visual atmosphere. Our guide will talk about past and present Nyungar history and give a true historical understanding of the Nyungar people of the Swan River.

Perth Skyline taken from Elizabeth Quay, Perth (Gary Norris Photography)

Borrogoron Coast to Creek Tour

Take a road trip and head out Coast to Creek. Like Dawson’s dolls, with less James Van Der Beek…  and more oysters!

Shane Terry’s story as you explore the tidal flats, forage for oysters and discover his special relationship with the land and sea that encompasses in-depth knowledge of bush food, medicine and traditional hunting and fishing practices This 2-hour walking tour requires a reasonable level of fitness as you cross the rocks at low tide – enclosed shoes (reef shoes ideally), water bottle, hat and sunscreen are recommended.

Illkurla Roadhouse Retreat

Whenever I search for a ‘desert’ Google asks did you mean ‘dessert? And usually, the answer would be yes, but this time I was searching for sunsets and space. The Illkurla Roadhouse Retreat is proudly owned and operated by the Spinifex people. Just make sure you always call ahead – as priority goes to community members.

Proudly owned and operated by the Spinifex people.
Ilkurlka Roadhouse was built in 2003 as an initiative of the Spinifex People. Although it provides a valuable service to travellers on the Anne Beadell Highway, its main purpose is to serve the communities to the north and south during times of Aboriginal business and travel.

The studio is set on top of a sand dune with magnificent views over the desert and is the best spot for viewing the magnificent sunsets. Ilkurlka campsite is a peaceful retreat with a hot shower, toilet and covered barbeque area. Firewood is freely provided.

Yirra Yarkin Theatre Company’s Play Club

Love your sparkle ugg boots, but aren’t ready to wear them to the theatre? The Yirra Yarkin Theatre Company are doing online readings in their new Play Club, and you’ve got front row seats!

The Yirra Play Club is a free virtual space to read and discuss plays!
Join a series of play reading sessions. Each session will be facilitated by a different member of the Club, who will pick a play and run a reading of it. Readings will be followed by a discussion of the work. Participants may contribute to the readings and discussions of plays as much or as little as they like.

Madjitil Moorna Choir

Madjitil Moorna is a community choir, so unlike Australian Idol, everyone wins. They sing in language and you can too!

Madjitil Moorna is a group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people who sing in language to build understanding, hope and joy. Award-winning Aboriginal songwriters and performers lead the group. People love to listen to the mix of soulful and joyous contemporary and more traditional songs.

Madjitil Moorna practices on Monday nights in Forrestfield at the Anderson Rd Community Centre, with visits to other centres. 6.30pm cuppa, 7.00pm – 8.30pm sing. All voices, all backgrounds welcome!

Learn Noongar Boodjar Language

Kayah, moort, boodjar…What do these mean? Learn a language that has lived for thousands and thousands of years and find out.

  • Learning Basic Noongar – Using a master and apprentice learning framework, this fun and highly interactive course is a 5-week course of 2 hours per week, providing an introduction and cultural immersion experience into the Noongar language. The aim is to develop listening and speaking skills in a safe and supportive environment.
  • Noongar Language and CultureThis 6 week Curtin course (2-3 hours per week) provides an introduction to Noongar culture and language. Learners will be taken on a journey through Noongar boodja (Noongar country). They’ll join Noongar guides as they share knowledge and personal experiences of history, land, and culture

Header image credit: WAITOC