Thursday, February 29, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Editors Note

Hi Everyone,

One of my favourite parts of the job is meeting people who are so passionate about their mission in life that their energy is inspiring to be around.

Their story is so engaging and meaningful that you can’t help but feel passionate right there alongside them.

This happened to me earlier this week when I met Robbie Congoo, a proud Indigenous man who has just released an animated short film about local cultural history.

I remember coming to Australia as a backpacker 20 years ago, eager to find out more information about the mysterious yet fascinating Indigenous culture.

But to my surprise, everyone I spoke to seemed reluctant to discuss this unique part of their heritage.

People were either not sure what to say, scared they might say the wrong thing or simply hesitant to answer questions that linked back to a traumatic past.

At the time it saddened me to see how this lack of conversation was pushing such an ancient culture into fringes, especially when I visited New Zealand where their Indigenous people are celebrated.  

Fortunately, over the last 20 years a lot has changed, and it is people like Robbie who are positively helping to shift attitudes within their local communities.

This week, I found out how much non-Indigenous tourism operators are eager to share Indigenous culture but simply need the tools to do so in a respectful and accurate way.

Some feel they do not know how to do this with confidence, and Robbie (largely in his own time, with his own money) is making it his mission to give tourism operators those tools.

By educating and raising awareness of Indigenous culture within the tourism industry, people from all over the world are now witnessing a positive and informed response when they enquire about our fascinating heritage.

Thank you, Robbie.


Quote of the Week: “We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to learn, to observe, to grow, to love . . . and then we return home.”

(Aboriginal Proverb)

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