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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.