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CIAF Conversation – QLD Indigenous Tourism

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Join proud Noonuccal Nuugi man Wesley Enoch, a Stage Writer/Director and current Sydney Festival Director  in conversation with Rosie Ware, Cameron Costello, Gudjugudju and Willie Tranby as they discuss the vital role First Peoples’ cultures have on Australian tourism, including the challenges faced during COVID-19 restrictions.


Wesley Enoch

Wesley is a writer and director and the current Artistic Director at the Sydney Festival. He hails from Stradbroke Island (Minjeribah) and is a proud Noonuccal Nuugi man.

Previously Wesley has been the Artistic Director at Kooemba Jdarra Indigenous Performing Arts; Artistic Director at Ilbijerri Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Theatre Co-operative and the Associate Artistic Director at Belvoir Street Theatre. Wesley’s other residencies include Resident Director at Sydney Theatre Company; the 2002 Australia Council Cite Internationale des Arts Residency in Paris and the Australia Council Artistic Director for the Australian Delegation to the 2008 Festival of Pacific Arts. He was creative consultant, segment director and indigenous consultant for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. 


Cameron Costello

Cameron is a Quandamooka man from Moreton Bay off the coast of Brisbane in South East Queensland.

Cameron is a law graduate from the University of Queensland and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Leisure Management from Griffith University. Cameron has worked previously in the legal industry and has over 15 years’ experience in local and state governments delivering First Nation policies and programs including the Backing Indigenous Arts Program and the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair. Cameron is currently the CEO for the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) ‐ the Native Title Body and Cultural Heritage Body for the native title determination over Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) and Minjerribah Camping.

He is the Chief Executive Officer of Minjerribah Camping, a 100% owned QYAC business that runs Holiday Parks and camping on Minjerribah. Cameron is currently an active member on a number of committees including Queensland Tourism Industry Council, Economic Transition Strategy (ETS) Committee, QLD Koala Advisory Council, SEQ Traditional Owners Tourism Working Group and the Senior Implementation Working Group for the Naree Budjong Djara National


Rosie Ware

Rosie is an established self-taught Textile Designer & Printer, based on Thursday Island.  Her mother Sorbie (nee Oth) originated from Murray Island in the Eastern Group of Islands, and her father, Elia Ware Snr. Came from St. Paul’s Village on Moa Island, with roots to Mabuiag Island in the near Western Island Group in the Torres Strait. The youngest of nine children in a big Island family.

Rosie began hand-printing textiles as a hobby in 1986. Her main medium is Lino-Block. Rosie has been printing professionally since 1996, participating in many mainstream and Indigenous group art exhibitions throughout Australia and Internationally. Her inspiration comes from her culture, the maritime history of the Torres Strait and the beautiful islands and marine environment that surrounds her.  Rosie’s art has led her to become an advocate for Torres Strait Islander Tourism for over twenty years.


Willie Enoch – Tranby

Willie has been involved in local Indigenous tourism since a very young age. With a career spanning over two decades, he is well known in Tropical North Queensland for his success and innovation with Indigenous culture in the tourism industry. Willie is currently the Sales Executive and Cultural Development Officer, CaPTA Group.

Willie won the Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) Young Achiever Excellence Award in 2017. This award recognises an individual under 35 who has made a significant contribution to the TNQ Tourism Industry and to the development of their community. Willie continues to be a strong leader for the Indigenous community in Far North Queensland.


Gudju Gudju Fourmile

Gudju Gudju has been learning the traditional ways of his people from the day he could walk. His Father and Grandparents taught him the ways of the Yidinji people, and his Mother taught him the Gungganji ways. They told him the stories, which connected the plants to the animals and the wildlife to the land. These are the traditional ways of learning and teaching; these ways are not taught in any conventional school. Gudju Gudju means the Rainbow Serpent and is considered a highly influential name to be given. He went through a traditional naming ceremony where his Grandfather warmed him over the fire and passed his name from the Spirits to him.

As an artist, cultural advisor and community leader he strives for better understanding of his culture and the original cultures of the world and what they have to offer. An advocate for food and tribal sovereignty he speaks out for his community and indigenous people worldwide.

In 2012 he started his own biocultural consultancy business, Abriculture. Through Abriculture he has organised the Gimuy Fish Festival as a platform to raise awareness of sustainable tribal land and sea management for many years. He has set up a community nursery, a cultural education program and manages the Gimuy Rangers on biosecurity and environmental management around the Cairns region. He featured in David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef series discussing the relevance of Yidinji stories with the creation of the Reef.

He has now been honoured with the position of Gimuy Walubara Yidinji Elder and is considered by the other clan and tribe members an important Story Holder for Yidinji culture. He is in demand with all of his community commitments as Yidinii advisor on cultural matters. He is often called upon to conduct Welcomes to dignitaries at International and National Events in the Cairns area. On behalf of his tribe he also organises tribal dancers, smoking ceremonies and naming ceremonies however this is not an exhausted list.

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