Locals and visitors alike will have a unique opportunity to connect to Yuin Country this summer, with a series of cultural workshops and experiences to be held across the region.
The program of activities ranging from painting and basket weaving workshops to learning about bush tucker and medicine and Dreaming Stories, is being coordinated by Southbound Escapes, and designed and delivered by a team of highly regarded First Nations Elders, Traditional Owners, and Knowledge Holders.
Southbound Escapes Director, Sally Bouckley, says ‘the events taking place over December and January will be spiritual, transformative, authentic and experiential cultural experiences for the whole family to enjoy. We have specifically chosen this time to put on the events to give maximum exposure for these incredible First Nations businesses.
Southbound Escapes recently took over the Narooma Visitor Information Centre which is the perfect place to use as a starting point for a number of these experiences, however there are a number of events across the region.
‘No matter where you come from or who you are, it is important to know that this region is Yuin country. There is so much more to our incredible region other than beaches and wildlife.’ Sally says.
‘We have so much to learn from the Yuin Nation’s 60,000 years of culture, sustainable living, caring for Country and for each other so that future generations can enjoy this regions stunning nature and beauty.
‘The best news is, that thanks to a $34,490 Reconnecting Regional NSW – Community Events Program grant from the NSW Government and Eurobodalla Shire Council, visitors and locals will be able to attend these events for free by using a special promo code whilst booking. We are thrilled to be able to give everyone the chance to participate and learn from these immersive experiences.
‘More broadly, we hope that these events will highlight what is on offer in the region and draw more visitors to the region and deliver a boost to local tourism operators who have had such a tough time over the last couple of years though the challenges of fires, COVID and floods.
‘I’m especially excited that in pulling this program together with our Yuin partners, a suite of new cultural experiences and products are now bookable online and will promote and boost First Nations tourism operations and the wider Yuin community in the long term.’
‘We do ask that people consider carefully and book just one free experience per person – we want to make sure that we can share this opportunity with as many people as possible,’ Sally says. ‘If our free tickets do sell out people will still be able to participate in future workshops and experiences via the First Nations operators bookable websites as listed below.’
Eurobodalla Mayor Mathew Hatcher said he was thrilled to see the Yuin Country events on the summer calendar.
“We are so lucky to have First Nations businesses thriving here, generously sharing their culture and knowledge,” the Mayor said.
“Curiosity about Yuin culture just keeps growing, and these events will give locals and visitors the chance to immerse themselves in 60,000 years of culture connected to this country. I’ll be seeing you there!”
“Thanks to the NSW Government for the funding, and to Southbound Escapes and their Yuin partners for the vision. We’re thrilled to be involved.”
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Tourism Ben Franklin said the Community Events Program will support the State’s events and hospitality sectors, as well as provide economic recovery while allowing communities to reconnect.
“The past two years have been difficult, with many unpredictable events including floods, drought, bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic, but we know NSW residents will come out the other side stronger and more resilient,” Mr Franklin said.
“People have been disconnected from family and friends but now they’re getting out and about again, and we want to see communities thriving and businesses benefitting from more local activities, events and opportunities in the regions.
“The NSW Government is backing local events that bring local communities together and this funding will help to reinvigorate these communities and contribute to a sense of improved wellbeing and connectedness in 2022 and 2023.”
Bookings for the full programme of events are now open and can be made online at https://www.southboundescapes.com/events/.