Voyages Indigenous Tourism celebrates NAIDOC week with cultural events

Voyages Indigenous Tourism is encouraging Aussies to Pakala (Get Up!) Pakara ngarakati (Stand Up!) and Utiriwa (Show Up!) in line with this year’s NAIDOC Week theme.

A series of events will be held at the company’s Ayers Rock Resort at Uluru encouraging guests to form deeper connections with the Indigenous history and culture.

Daily activities include Art Talks at the Gallery of Central Australia (GOCA) which recently celebrated its first anniversary.

GOCA showcases over 300 artworks from existing and emerging artists exclusively from the Central Australia and Western Desert region. These are displayed in the Gallery along with specially curated items like Punu (traditional Anangu wood carving) and pieces designed and hand-made by local communities.

Plus, guests can take in an Indigenous film at the resort’s theatre or join one of the free guest activities such as Bush Yarns or a Guided Garden Walk.

This walk showcases the native ingredients used in dishes served at the resort’s restaurants or at Tali Wiru, the Resort’s signature dunetop dining experience.

The week will culminate in special celebrations on Friday, 8 July beginning with a Welcome To Country followed by an Inma – a traditional dance ceremony performed by the Traditional Owners of Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Anangu will tell their Tjukurpa (creation) stories through dance and song.

A bush medicine workshop, and Pitjantjatjara language lessons will be on offer as will cooking demonstrations by award-winning chef, Andrew Fielke who will showcase a wide range of native ingredients. Fielke is now collaborating with Indigenous grower, Dominic Smith on an initiative called Edible Reconciliation which develops and markets native-inspired products to create a sustainable Indigenous supply chain.

All of this will be set against a backdrop of arts and crafts markets retailing Indigenous products.

The day will close with The Docker River Band from the Kaltukatjara Aboriginal community performing their reggae-style music blending their native Pitjantjatjara language and English.

“We are really delighted by the number of Australians wanting to travel to Uluṟu and learn more about the beauty, diversity, and wisdom of Indigenous culture,” said Matthew Cameron-Smith, CEO of Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia.

“While many Indigenous and cultural activities run year-round at the Resort, we wanted to place a special emphasis on these during NAIDOC week and supplement them with a range of really special activities which can be enjoyed by our guests.”