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TOURISM


Nitmiluk Tours is run by the Jawoyn Association Aboriginal Corporation


Jawoyn Association Aboriginal Corporation


The Jawoyn Association Aboriginal Corporation was established in 1985 as the representative body. The Association’s cultural and land management programs, business enterprises and forward planning with a vision for economic independence provides support, employment and training for Jawoyn people. The Jawoyn people have been involved in tourism for more than 20 years. They see it as a long term, sustainable form of economic activity, with the potential to give widespread benefi ts in employment and wealth creation for the Jawoyn people and the region. Late Jawoyn leader, Bangardi Lee, said: “Land has always been part of our traditional economy. That doesn’t mean we see it as something to be exploited. It’s not just there to make money out of and then be left behind. We have responsibilities to our land, which are responsibilities to the old people, the present generation and our children and grandchildren. We have to use it wisely.”


The design is contemporary, with natural, earthy colours used throughout the resort


Tours with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commercial Development Corporation (CDC) and Travel North, and co-purchasing the boat operations at Nitmiluk Gorge. The following year, the Jawoyn Association bought out CDC’s share, and in 2006 it bought out Travel North’s shares, making it the full owner of Nitmiluk Tours and sole operator of the boats, canoes, caravan park and visitor centre at Nitmiluk National Park. The company also runs educational tours of the park, teaching visitors about its history and the history of the Jawoyn people. In addition, Nitmiluk Tours runs the annual Barunga festival, one of Australia’s longest-running indigenous festivals, which showcases a wide range of Jawoyn culture and sports.


176 LEISURE HANDBOOK 2014


Today, around 250,000 people visit the park each year. Since 1989, new roads have been built and other infrastructure put in place. An AUS$3m visitor centre, the Nitmiluk Centre, opened in 1997, with a display centre and heritage museum and a restaurant – it has since won several architectural prizes. In June 2006, Nitmiluk Tours carried out a major programme to upgrade the caravan park at Nitmiluk Gorge and build new self-catering cabins, it also took over operations at the Leliyn Falls campsite on the western boundary of the Nitmiluk National Park. Profi ts from the Nitmiluk Tours business are put straight back into the Jawoyn Association to support a range of training and employment initiatives in tourism for the Jawoyn people.


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