Art, peo­ple and place

Aus­tralian Ge­o­graphic Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Jo Runci­man trav­elled north on Coral Dis­cov­erer to be im­mersed in the en­thralling Indige­nous cul­tures of north­ern Aus­tralia.

Australian Geographic - - Expedition Diary -

IWAS DE­LIGHTED to re­cently host a spe­cial Aus­tralian Ge­o­graphic Coral Ex­pe­di­tions art-themed tour of Cape York and Arnhem Land. This was so much more than sim­ply a visit to the Tiwi and Tor­res Strait is­lands. It was an ex­tra­or­di­nary and im­mer­sive op­por­tu­nity to meet and in­ter­act with the com­mu­ni­ties liv­ing there.

What my fel­low trav­ellers and I ex­pe­ri­enced was an in­ti­mate ed­u­ca­tion on Aus­tralian

Indige­nous cul­ture. We did this by ex­plor­ing the beau­ti­ful, re­mote and unique places that few Aussies from the coun­try’s more south­ern reaches ever get to ex­pe­ri­ence. We saw ex­tra­or­di­nary hand-crafted

Indige­nous art and spent time on coun­try hear­ing ori­gin sto­ries and learn­ing about clan and fam­ily struc­ture. AG is one of few me­dia or­gan­i­sa­tions that re­port ex­ten­sively on Aus­tralia’s Indige­nous peo­ples and the en­vi­ron­ments that sus­tain them, and yet, for me, this chance to ex­pe­ri­ence first­hand how im­por­tant and cen­tral cul­ture and con­nec­tion to coun­try is for these com­mu­ni­ties was an eye-opener. Danny and Phil, the Indige­nous rangers who joined us for part of the jour­ney, and the Coral Ex­pe­di­tions ex­pert guides Ian, Jamie and Tom were real high­lights of this jour­ney. Their ex­ten­sive knowl­edge and love of the places we vis­ited truly en­riched our ex­pe­ri­ence. Hav­ing Moa Is­land com­mu­nity leader and glob­ally renowned artist David Bo­sun on board was a par­tic­u­lar treat. Many of the other guests and I en­joyed on­board art classes run by David, who still lives a tra­di­tional life on Moa Is­land, in the Tor­res Strait. We all rel­ished the chance to spend time with him.

I would also like to men­tion what great com­pany my fel­low trav­el­ling com­pan­ions were. They hailed from all over Aus­tralia and shared with me the ad­ven­tur­ous AG spirit. In ad­di­tion, this group had a par­tic­u­lar love of art, which made for a fun and knowl­edge­able crowd.

WHO: Coral Ex­pe­di­tions

DATE: De­part Cairns 4 April 2021 (11 nights) COST: From $11,990 (twin share)

BOOK­INGS: Call Coral Ex­pe­di­tions on 1800 079 545 or email ex­plore@coral­ex­pe­di­

Coral Dis­cov­erer sails through the Hole in the Wall and Wes­sel Is­lands. Trav­ellers on Coral Dis­cov­erer (be­low) were treated to a weav­ing demon­stra­tion (above) at the re­mote West Arnhem Land town of Man­ingrida.

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