Culture College invites you to meet the Yolu people of East Arnhem Land and learn about one of the world’s oldest and unique living cultures. Join us on a life changing adventure to share cultural and environmental knowledge in the Northern Territory. Culture College is a social enterprise that organises tours to Arnhem Land for secondary schools. Partnered with Lirrwi Tourism, we offer 5-day homeland visits as part of our 7 to 14-day tour. Programs are tailor-made for each school’s requirements and the personal development needs of your students.
- Guided Bush Walks with Yolngu Rangers.
- Interactive learning; Bush ‘tucker’ & bush medicine.
- Traditional ‘Welcome to Country’ ceremony.
- Yolngu language and sign language lessons.
- Lessons on Yolngu history, gender roles, kinship and moiety.
- Learning and participating in traditional dances to Bunggul music.
- Hunting and gathering.
- Local art forms: Interactive lessons.
- Collecting and making Yidaki (Didgeridoo), spears, spear throwers, clap sticks, baskets & jewellery.
- Interacting with elders & children in homelands.
- Sports and activities with Yolngu community school children.
Full OH & S policies for accommodation and for Excursions. Full Public Liability Insurance. Please enquire for more details.
Block of 60 individual rooms on an enclosed site in Nhulunbuy with all facilities and cafeteria on the grounds. Homeland visits use 4-6 person safari tents and have ablutions blocks on site.
Fabulous examples of authentic family life and their intense connection and pride of their country. We are so lucky to share this with young people who can hopefully take from this experience very positive messages about Indigenous people….. A great opportunity to immerse yourself in an amazing culture. Learning through experience and interactions with Indigenous people, to hopefully help to break through the negativity generated within the media.
Lucy Haigh, Indigenous Education Coordinator, Geelong Grammar School
As a Canadian I learned so much about the Yolngu People. I enjoyed my experience and go home knowledgeable (to a point) and much better equipped to explain why the government needs to support the Aboriginals to find their traditions and be proud of them.
Mark Wismer, Geography Teacher, Geelong Grammar School
I will treasure most staying on the Homeland. This was a once in a lifetime experience and it was this that really changed my perspective on Arnhem Land. Being so involved in their lifestyle made me appreciate the land and culture…… The traditional owner, Marcus and his family were incredible. They were so happy to have us and basically welcomed us into their family, eager to share their knowledge. I was extremely grateful….. My experience at Culture College was one of the best things I’ve ever done. Nhulunbuy was great to see, and the Homeland was definitely my favourite. I feel like I can properly understand the Yolŋu way of life, and it has changed my way of thinking about true Australia. I loved every minute.
Emily S., Year 7, Ascham School
It was truly a life changing experience. The knowledge that was past to us was very special. The people we met were very interesting and such a privilege to meet. The emersion experience was eye-opening for many of my peers and I really loved it…. One memory that will last with me is sitting around the camp fire talking to such a respected elder from the homeland. What a privilege and a special moment.
Tarryn L., Year 10, Geelong Grammar School (Indigenous student)
The accommodation was great, we all had a separate room which was awesome. The food was outstanding!!
Alli B., Year 10, Geelong Grammar School
The experience there was just amazing. I know I will never forget the friends that I have made and the opportunities to do things that I thought I would never do.
Annie C., Year 7, Ascham School
It was a sensational experience. I learnt a lot about the Yolŋu culture and enjoyed every last bit of the trip.
John B., Year 10, Geelong Grammar School (Indigenous student)
We just had so much fun and learnt so much and I wish I could do it all over again…… When I first arrived in Arnhem Land I didn’t really know what to expect but what I experienced was the most fun and enjoyable, never dull, interesting time I’ve ever had and I would without a doubt recommend it to everyone, Thanks Culture College!
Will H., Year 10, Geelong Grammar School
The ladies were some of the most beautifully hearted people I have ever met and through getting to know them, I have been inspired to alter my personal view on life…… This experience has literally been the experience of a life time; it has transformed me as a person and my views of the indigenous culture have broadened into a love of the pride within the Yolŋu people. I am deadly sure this experience will morally base my life in the future and for that I am sincerely thankful to the Culture College and the people of the Yolŋu culture.
Alice L., Year 10, Geelong Grammar School
Culture College is a social enterprise established by L.Janusz and Ana Hooker with a mission to inspire and educate Indigenous & non-Indigenous secondary school students and empower the next generation of Australia’s leaders. All profits generated by the Culture College program will be reinvested into the Hooker Family Foundation to support the Kids to Coast program and other educational activities for Indigenous youth.
To develop lifetime cross-cultural relationships for Australia’s youth – unite and empower the next generation of Australia’s leaders today through educational exchange programs to ensure a stronger more dynamic Australia tomorrow:
- Educate students from urban areas with knowledge of and respect for the oldest living culture on Earth, Australia’s Aboriginal cultures, and the spectacular environment of Arnhem Land.
- Provide educational and cultural links between schools in Arnhem Land and schools in NSW and Victoria.
- Bring sustainable economic activities to the Aboriginal Homelands; making these traditional lands more attractive for Yolŋu to return to their country, critical lands for the preservation of their culture.
- Strengthen the broader Arnhem Land economy through job creation and also increasing the tourism profile of East Arnhem Land.
- Improve the utilisation of East Arnhem’s assets by repurposing existing facilities and giving them a new lease on life.
For three generations the Hooker Family has fostered a culture of giving back to the community and furthering the development and prosperity of Australia. Today, Ana and L.Janusz Hooker drive the family’s social impact activities through the Hooker Family Foundation, a non-profit organisation registered in Australia dedicated to empowering Indigenous youth through education. Following several years of success with the Kids to Coast Program, they completed the circle bringing students from Sydney’s SCECGS Redlands School to Uluru with the Mutitjulu Community as hosts, giving rise to the reciprocal Kids to Culture program. The impact this program had on both the Redlands & Mutitjulu students was undeniably powerful and was the foundation of the Culture College creation. “We were inspired and searched the country for a suitable location to establish a permanent Kids to Culture campus and a social enterprise to sponsor Aboriginal youth education programs sustainably over the long term.” L.Janusz Hooker, Co-Chair of Hooker Family Foundation, The Scots College and SCECGS Redlands alumnus
Call us now for our 'One Teacher goes Free' offer for 2016 & 2017 tours.
Students will be based at the Culture College base camp in Nhulunbuy. Accommodation is single bedrooms and shared facilities. From the base, students will undertake a variety of enriching activities. 5 day homeland visit – Lirrwi Tourism is partnered with two key homelands in Bukudal and Nyinyikay to deliver educational programs. These are Aboriginal owned and operated businesses offering an affordable cultural awareness experience for secondary school groups. Both homelands are on spectacular coast locations approximately 3 hours 4×4 drive from Nhulunbuy. Accommodation is camping. Students will learn about the significance of and participate in a Welcome to Country ceremony performed by the community of the Homeland to welcome them to their traditional land. It can take many forms, including singing, face painting, dancing, smoking ceremony or a speech in traditional language or English. Daily lessons in a bush classroom will be held to teach students the basics of the Yolŋu language (Yolŋu Matha). Students will also learn elements of Yolŋu sign language and why it is essential to Yolŋu culture. Students will go on a variety of educational & interactive bush walks. During this they will learn about bush products and bush medicines and may gather vines, shells & pandanus leaves for jewellery making and basket weaving or find a stringy bark tree to make a Yidaki (didgeridoo) from. They will also hunt and gather food products to take back to camp and learn about the dreaming stories integral to the environment and its culture. Some of the activities include:
- Traditional ‘Welcome to Country’ ceremony.
- Daily Yolŋu language and sign language lessons.
- Learning and participating in a traditional dance to Bunggul music.
- Collection and preparation of Yolŋu bush foods and medicine.
- Sharing of dreamtime stories about the region around the campfire.
- Making Yidaki, spears, spear throwers, clap sticks, baskets and jewellery.
- Interacting with Elders & children in Homelands and with the Homeland and Community schools.
- Lessons on gender roles, kinship and moiety.
Visit to neighbouring homeland:
Students will journey by 4×4 transport to a neighbouring homeland, Rorruwuy for Nyinyikay visitors and Wandawuy for Bukudal. They will learn about a different community including their stories, language and traditions. This will help students understand a little about the great diversity of clans and groups in the Aboriginal culture.
(Yirrkala Arts Centre & Museum) Students will visit the renowned centre and take a tour to see the region’s famous artists and historical artwork (including the Yirrkala Church Panels). They are shown how to make paint from clays and how to make a traditional painting brush made from strands of their or their teacher’s hair. They will also get to see some of the local artists at work in the centre and partake in an art class to learn some of the techniques and culture of Yolŋu art. The centre also has a state-of-the-art video/editing suite used to record Yolŋu culture and stories. Alongside their Yolŋu peers, it is here that students will share their collected photos and videos of their tour and even create an iPhoto book of all the photos with bi-lingual text to send back home.
Yirrkala Community School visit:
Students will visit the students at Yirrkala Community School where students are taught bilingually Yolŋu Matha / English, one of only 6 schools in Australia to do so. They will join a peer group of students for their ‘circle learning’ ritual and discuss cultural issues.
Working with the Dhimurru and Yirralka Rangers, students will undertake an educational walk along the beach or along to local lagoon. Group learns about bush tucker, bush medicine, dreaming stories and aboriginal conservation and sustainable land management. Students will also get involved in providing tangible benefit for the local community by taking part in a local conservation projects assisted by the Rangers. Projects are seasonal and will be determined by weather and need. ‘It was a sensational experience. I learnt a lot about the Yolŋu culture and enjoyed every last bit of the trip.’ John B., Year 10, Geelong Grammar School
From $2100 to $3500
Block 5, William Gove House, Matthew Flinders Way, Nhulunbuy NT 0881