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Category 2 recipients — delivering built infrastructure and facilities

Category 2 recipients of the Growing Indigenous Tourism in Queensland Fund are enhancing Indigenous tourism by improving or developing infrastructure and facilities.

Project summary

Applicant ProjectLocation RTOStatus
Bunya Peoples' Aboriginal Corporation Establishing the Bonye Biar Bush University - 'In-Country' Learning Places and a Commissionable Aboriginal Tour Package Bunya Mountains Southern Queensland Country Completed
Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC K'gari Cultural Tourism Fraser Island Fraser Coast In progress
Gidarjil Development Corporation Ltd Mon Repos Cultural Tourism Project Burnett Heads Bundaberg Completed
Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council Kowanyama Visitor Camping and Tours Pilot Kowanyama TTNQ In progress
Olkola Aboriginal Corporation The Olkola Cultural Knowledge Centre Olkola Country, Cape York TTNQ In progress
Saltwater Club Saltwater Club First Nations Maritime Cultural Heritage Adventures and Experiences Portsmith TTNQ Completed
Saltwater Eco Tours Saltwater Eco Tours Mooloolaba Sunshine Coast In progress
Thompson Business Trust Fringe Camp at The Dolly Barcaldine Outback In progress
Torres Shire Council Thursday Island Tourism Information and Business Centre Thursday Island TTNQIn progress

Bonye Biar Bush University

We supported the Bunya Peoples’ Aboriginal Corporation with $542,826 to create two 'In-Country' learning spaces at Gummingurru, north of Toowoomba and within the landscape at Russell Park, Bunya Mountains, where Aboriginal lore and culture can be revived and appropriately shared with visitors to the region.

The Gummingurru project constructed and planted native gardens representing the surrounding lands. Scar trees were relocated, and a fire pit and yarning circle constructed looking out to the iconic stone arrangements. Interpretative signage was installed to support educational and cultural tours.

A ‘Dhakkin’ sculptural meetings ground and Bunya Genestreams Songline Sculpture has been constructed at the Bunya Mountains location. This includes a 120 metre rock and concrete serpent. Within the coils of the snake is a section for women’s business, a section for men’s business and a central performance space. Inbuilt lighting which changes colour is placed along the body and eyes of the snake. The Genestreams sculpture is in the shape of a lotus lilly that has 15 artistic representations of the time periods made by five local artists.

The project developed a commissionable Aboriginal tour package built upon authentic cultural content, training Aboriginal tour guides and established a platform for a sustained tourism stream of businesses that supports community aspirations into the future.

Bonye Bush University was officially opened in April 2022 with tours planned to commence in 2022-23.

K’gari Cultural Tourism

We provided a grant of $877,000 to Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation for the K’gari Cultural Tours Project which involves the establishment of an Indigenous-owned and managed tourism business, offering unique cultural services and experiences for visitors to K’gari (Fraser Island), including bush tucker tours, overnight camping experiences with night time storytelling and cultural performances.

The project is on track and due for completion in September 2022.

Mon Repos Cultural Tourism Project

The Gidarjil Development Corporation Limited received a grant of $490,000 to develop a training and commercial kitchen facility at the Port of Bundaberg and the Giji Café at the Mon Repos Turtle Centre, Bundaberg.

The café and commercial kitchen will provide training to help young Indigenous people in the Wide Bay Burnett region to find employment in the hospitality industry.

Visitors to the Mon Repos Turtle Centre can enjoy bush-tucker inspired food at the new Gidji Café which opened in November 2021.  The menu offers a delicious array of native food inspired treats such as barramundi spring rolls, pepper berry chutney and lemon myrtle sauce.

Kowanyama Visitor Camping and Tours Pilot

We are supporting the Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council with $250,000 to deliver bush camping grounds at Oriner’s Station Homestead.

Kowanyama, meaning Place of Many Waters, is an Aboriginal community on the Mitchell River in the Gulf Savannah region. Kowanyama has a rich cultural heritage and unlike many other Aboriginal communities the people were not displaced which means the majority of those living in Kowanyama today are Traditional Owners.

Due for completion in December 2022, the project will deliver a serviced bush camp at Oriners Homestead, located in Olkola Country (approximately 3.5 hours drive from Kowanyama). The site offers rich woody savannah ecology and will feature interpretiative signage, walking trails and guided walks by Traditional Rangers.

Olkola Cultural Knowledge Centre

We provided a grant of $981,747 to Olkola Aboriginal Corporation to develop and construct a Cultural Knowledge Centre on Olkola Country in central Cape York.

The Centre, due for completion in November 2022, will be the first of it’s kind in Australia, offering a culturally significant tourism experience and act as a gateway to Cape York.

It will offer day visit experiences, tourism accommodation for multi-day cultural tours and a scientific research campus for innovative land management work that combines traditional cultural and contemporary scientific knowledge.

The Centre will provide significant innovation through an environmentally sustainable building that acts as a catalyst for creating sustainable livelihoods on Country by combining cultural, economic and environmental needs and aspirations.

Saltwater Club

We are supporting the Saltwater Club with $950,000 to deliver a number of historically significant tall ships that showcase the unique seafaring culture, heritage and traditions of First Nations people and their connection to sea country.

The tall ship Derwent Hunter has been delighting passengers with reef tours from Airlie Beach since late 2021 and the pearl lugger Triton is expected to be operational by December 2022.

Saltwater Eco Tours

We provided a grant of $297,500.00 to Saltwater Eco Tours for the purchase, restoration, refit and commissioning of the Spray of the Coral Coast, a 58ft timber ketch, built in 1908. The vessel is thought to be the oldest Spray sailing in Australia and possibly the world, and is now owned and operated by Indigenous Young Tourism Leader of 2020, Simon Thornalley, a Torres Strait Islander man who grew up sailing the Queensland coast. Restoration is on track for completion in July 2022.

Saltwater Eco Tours, Mooloolaba, operates cruises along the pristine Mooloolah River, offering unique marine experiences and combines Indigenous culture, maritime history, and sharing stories and traditions of the Kabi Kabi people of the Sunshine Coast, through the art of storytelling, music and delicious native bushfoods.

Outback Fringe Camp Resort

We provided funding of $1 million to The Thompson Business Trust for the development of  the Outback Fringe Camp Resort in Barcaldine.

The project due for completion in November 2022, will welcome travellers to an accessible, yet immersive ‘Desert Mob’ experience, offering non-powered caravan and camping sites, amenities, kitchens, a pool and an art studio.

Thursday Island Tourism Information and Business Centre

Torres Shire Council have been granted $1 million to develop the Thursday Island Tourism and Information Business Centre to capture and develop tourism potential in the Torres Strait region.

Boasting a vibrant Indigenous culture and largely untouched natural environment, as well as a fascinating history, the Torres Strait offers tourists a unique experience.

The centre will provide services to visitors and residents, including information about accommodation, transport, local goods and tours the region has to offer.

The centre will serve as a hub for training and upskilling residents and for promoting and marketing the region and it’s local businesses as a tourist destination.

Last updated: 22 Jul 2022