Timmy 'Djawa' Burarrwanga

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Timmy Burarrwanga in Canberra, 17 February 2011 Timmy Burarrwanga in Canberra Hyatt Feb 2011-1.jpg
Timmy Burarrwanga in Canberra, 17 February 2011

Timmy Murmurrga Burarrwanga, also known by his tribal name Djawa Djuwait, is an Aboriginal Australian who belongs to the Gumatj clan. [1] He is a business operator, cultural leader and current chairman of the Yirrkala Dhanbul Aboriginal Corporation, [2] a community development organization associated with the Bunuwal group of companies. He was formerly a director of the Lanyhapuy Homelands Association, and is heavily active in the outstation movement, numerous other Aboriginal organizations, and has lent his support to the One Laptop Per Child Australia group. [3]


Aboriginal tourism initiatives

Burarrwanga has spent much of his time working toward authenticity in Aboriginal tourism, a culmination of which was the creation of Lirrwi Tourism in 2010. [1] [4]


With his family he operates Bawaka, a unique Indigenous tourism venture that operates on their ancestral homeland in north eastern Arnhem Land, in the Northern Territory of Australia. [5] Together they move between Yirrkala and Bawaka to welcome small groups of people from across Australia and from around the world to share their culture and history. [6] One of Burarrwanga's initiatives is promoting tourism as a culturally appropriate way of Aboriginal people earning a living and has welcomed numerous high-profile Australians to Bawaka to participate in a number of cultural awareness programs on offer. [7] [8] Renowned chef Tony Bilson is one of many people who have spent time at Bawaka. [9]

Garma Festival

Burarrwanga has been actively involved in the management of cultural programs at the annual Garma Festival of Traditional Cultures held at the Gulkula site in north eastern Arnhem Land. [10] [11] A keynote speech involved his experiences in developing his own company and the importance of employing and training Yolŋu people at home, to give them respect and responsibilities for their rights and for their future. [12] This led to the 2012 launch of the Yolngu Cultural Tourism Masterplan, the first of its kind in Australia. [13] [14]

Constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians

In December 2010 the Australian Government announced that Burarrwanga was invited to join other prominent members to sit on the "Expert Panel" on constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians. The role of the panel was to lead a wide-ranging national public consultation and engagement program throughout 2011, before reporting its findings to the Australian Government by December 2011. [15] [16]

Timmy pointing out fish in Port Bradshaw Timmy pointing out fish in Port Bradshaw.jpg
Timmy pointing out fish in Port Bradshaw

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  1. 1 2 Wilkinson, James (11 July 2012). "Arnhem Land set for new era in Aboriginal Tourism". HM. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  2. "About Yirrkala Dhanbul Aboriginal Corporation". Yirrkala Dhanbul Aboriginal Corporation. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  3. Tall Poppy: Timmy ‘Djawa’ Burarrwanga - Indigenous tourism entrepreneur Territory Q - 2010
  4. "About Lirrwi Tourism" . Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  5. Slater, Lisa (11 September 2018). Anxieties of Belonging in Settler Colonialism: Australia, Race and Place. Routledge. ISBN   978-0429782879 . Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  6. Indigenous Stock Exchange - ISX Archived 20 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  7. Bawaka Archived 12 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  8. Territory Quarterly, 2010 Archived 16 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  9. Tony Wilson speaks of his time at Bawaka, OLPC Australia
  10. Ellis, Trevor. "Newslines Radio: The Yolngu way of sharing". Newslines Radio. Archived from the original on 22 February 2011. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  11. Garma sponsor, Charles Darwin University Archived 11 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  12. Garma 2005 Session 6 Where Have We Been? Where Are We Going? Yolŋu Tourism in Arnhem Land over the past 10 years - notes,Garma 2005 Archived 11 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  13. "Yolngu people have master plan for tourism" . Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  14. Wilson, Emily (3 August 2014). "Indigenous homelands could be opened up in tourism plan for Arnhem Land". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  15. Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians, FAHCSIA
  16. Communiqué 16–17 February 2011,FAHCSIA