News

LAUNCH OFF: New tourism venture promotes local culture

SPLASH: Grab your mates and enjoy a day on the water while learning about the Gumbaynggirr culture with WYAT in Coffs Harbour.
SPLASH: Grab your mates and enjoy a day on the water while learning about the Gumbaynggirr culture with WYAT in Coffs Harbour. Rob Cleary / Seen Australia

AN EXCITING new Aboriginal-owned tourism venture has recently been launched on the Coffs Coast that combines a sense of adventure with cultural learning.

Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours (WYAT) was officially launched in January 2017 as a way to promote Gumbaynggirr culture and contribute to the wellbeing of the local community.

The launch of WYAT was six years in the making, and owner-operator Clark Webb ensured extensive research and due diligence was undertaken before the launch.

Although recent research suggests the demand for Aboriginal cultural experiences has been overstated, Mr Webb didn't let this revelation deter him from continuing to build his dream business.

"We just needed to find a 'hook' as a way to get people to participate in our tours and then share culture with them along the way,” he said. That 'hook' is stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking, two of the world's fastest growing watersports.

"Stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking are actually cultural activities and as the oldest continuous cultures in the world, paddleboarding was developed here,” Mr Webb said.

"So people on SUPs and kayaks are doing a cultural activity, most just don't realise it.”

So what makes WYAT unique?

"Participants of our tours get to paddle with the direct descendants of the world's first paddlers, feel a sense of adventure in unspoilt marine park waterways and connect, feel and taste the soul of our country,” Mr Webb said.

Learn about the Gumbaynggirr culture while having a fun day out with friends.
Learn about the Gumbaynggirr culture while having a fun day out with friends. Rob Cleary / Seen Australia

During the six years of research Mr Webb developed a way to build WYAT as a social enterprise.

WYAT reinvests 20% of its profits into Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation (BMNAC), a not-for-profit Mr Webb established that facilitates after school learning centres, cultural camps and Gumbaynggirr language revitalisation activities.

"Although I am a Gumbaynggirr person I felt uncomfortable with individually profiting from a knowledge and culture that I don't own individually,” he said.

"We therefore reinvest into BMNAC so that we are encouraging our community to be strong in both culture and education and then create an employment pathway as tour guides, language teachers, artists and performers.”

Wajaana Yaam Adventure Tours conduct its activities in three of the Coffs Coast's marine park waterways: Coffs Creek, Moonee and Red Rock.

Participants of WYAT's tours also gain the knowledge that, through their participation, they are directly contributing to the wellbeing of the local Gumbaynggirr community.

"We say 'yilaami!' Come with us and paddle with a purpose,” Mr Webb said.

Get in touch with Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours on their website www.wyat.com.au, on their Facebook page and on Instagram @WajaanaYaam.



'Like a scene from a doomsday sci-fi movie': Flames burn through Tarkeeth Forest

Flames burn through Tarkeeth Forest as part of Forestry Corporation's logging operation.

Logging operation said to subject residents to air pollution

Quinn grabs ARC lead

EAT MY DUST: Nathan Quinn is leading the ARC drivers championship after a runner-up finish at the Forest Rally in Western Australia.

More points after runner-up finish in Western Australia.

Ghosts win but coach not happy

Winger Joel Moss scored four tries for the Grafton Ghosts in the 46-14 win over Bellingen Valley-Dorrigo.

A 46-14 win would please most coaches but not Danny Wicks.

Local Partners

Bypass announcement won't be in next budget but ...

Cowper MP doesn't expect Federal Budget to reveal funds for a Coffs Harbour bypass. But that doesn't mean the money for the job isn't there.


Patti Smith: the mother of punk gave Jim Morrison his wings

Patti Smith at Bluesfest 2017 in Byron Bay.

One of the most exhilarating performances in recent Blues history

UPDATED: Patti Smith donates large sum for flood recovery

Patti Smith at Bluesfest 2017 in Byron Bay.

The artist performed two shows at Bluesfest 2017

Bluesfest Day 2: From Jason Momoa to Mary J Blige

Hollywood star Jason Momoa was happy to interacts with fans backstage at Bluesfest 2017.

Chris Hemsworth and Matt Damon gave the festival a Hollywood touch

Amber Heard, billionaire Elon Musk in Queensland

ACTRESS Amber Heard’s billionaire boyfriend Elon Musk has finally been spotted out and about in on the Gold Coast.

Dave Hughes almost went too far in Logies monologue

Dave Hughes skewered the A-list in his opening monologue

Mackay lawyer dishes on MKR behind the scenes

Della Whearty from MKR.

Mackay lawyer talks her My Kitchen Rules journey.

Movie review: Going in Style a grey-powered crowd pleaser

Alan Arkin, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine in a scene from the movie Going in Style.

The tale of three men and a mobility scooter a tad formulaic.

Logies 2017: Meldrum's odd speech as Samuel Johnson wins Gold

Samuel Johnson shows off his Best Actor gong before going onto win the Gold.

Samuel Johnson named Gold Logie Winner of the 59th Annual TV Week Gold Logie...

Logies 2017: Who's taken the coveted gongs?

Kerri-Anne Kennerley poses with the Hall Of Fame Logie Award.

Award winners from Australian television industry's night of nights

Lisa Curry and fiance sell up Sunshine Coast property

I'm a Celebrity, Get me Out of Here! contestant Lisa Curry with partner Mark Tabone after being evicted from the South African jungle. Picture: Dylan Robinson ***EMBARGOED 7:30pm March 9th***

Plans for dream home on hold at Mount Mellum place on market

SOLD: Iconic M'boro pub set to be transformed

Shane Muller from Maryborough Motorcycles will be opening up a showroom and café at the Shamrock Hotel.

The Shamrock Hotel is set to be transformed in the next two months.

Coast developer looks to prime real estate's future

MANY OPTIONS: Sunshine Coast developer Graeme Juniper is considering what to do with a prime piece of real estate he owns on Radical Bay on Magnetic Island, near Townsville.

Radical Bay is World Environment Heritage-listed.

This small box of a unit just sold for $1 million

Elizabeth Bay unit has charming views to Sydney Heads.

If this doesn't scream 'housing bubble', nothing does.

MILLIONAIRES ROW: Is this Toowoomba's biggest house?

STUNNING PROPERTY: The home in lot five at Kara View Court is framed with Table Top Mountain as a backdrop.

When entering Kara View Crt, it's hard to ignore the stunning home

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!