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Cultural Tours 2022


Mapuru Experience

Hey Mapuru community,

Whilst my mind is fresh and my heart is still in Mapuru, I would like to share my experience with you.

As a person living in western society, searching for connection to country and having a lineage of First Nations, I have found this experience deeply profound.

Roslyn, the women, the men, the children welcomed me with open arms, yet also maintain a space that is and can only be their world. Overall I felt of deep reverence for these people and appreciated every generous insight and teaching shared with me.

As a person who has no contact with my own indigenous clans yet and feels the effects of disconnectedness and displacement, I had some very deep and painful ancestral trauma come up to the surface and softly heal on this trip.

An unfurling, unravelling and blooming of self came through this experience.

I witnessed the deeply complex systems of the Yolngu people, the beautifully natural way they live and the generosity that is endlessly passed on through sharing their ways.

In my own work creating wellbeing programmes I endeavour to bridge innovation with wisdom traditions so this connection to traditional ways has been integral and will Influence my organisation to be future facing. As a multi-disciplinary artist I will bring back many stories to weave into my practises and projects.

Most importantly, what had been nurtured in my own personal world from simply sitting with the Yolngu people is a new sense of Being, listening, broadened and expansive compassion, new understandings and insights into culture and the importance of family and community connection.

I hope to come back again and wish all of the people of Mapuru good health.



Week recently spent with Mapuru weavers & Mens Business

My husband and I recently spent an unforgettable week with the Mapuru community. It was an extraordinary experience for which we are immensely grateful. Being on Yolngu Country, feeling the pace of life, and sharing time together under the vast sky gave us a sense of connection and new insights that we will take into our future.

It was a privilege and joy to take our part in the arts and skills of collecting colour to dye pandanus, prepare the fibres, and weave. Watching all the master weavers demonstrate their craft so beautifully, generously sharing their skills was amazing. Even the collection of bathi (baskets) created by our Balanda group were impressive by the end of the week. Such a sense of accomplishment!

I beamed with a quiet joy upon hearing the enthusiasm in my partner’s voice at the end of each day, as he spoke of his adventures learning Yolngu Matha with his wäwa (brother) Ethan, making a fishing spear, finding (and eating!) bait and fish, finding the trees to make yiḏaki, playing yiḏaki, hunting for water buffalo, cooking feasts over coals in the pit oven, and walking across beautiful lands.

Thanks to the school community for inviting Balanda into the classrooms to listen to the children read in Yolngu and hear about their work. It was heart-warming to sit amongst such happy students in the multi-age classrooms. Thanks to the elders and Mapuru participants who gave up their time to share their wisdom and way of life with us. We hope to get back to visit our Yolngu family again!

Kind regards,


Thank you,

Thank you,

Thank you,

That is all I want to say to the wonderful community that shared so much with me. I will not forget the experience and I will be back.

Vin - Marrpan



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