Post Conference Tour

While you are at UnitingWomen in Darwin you will get a little taste of what Yolŋu weaving styles look and feel like, and of the journey gunga, pandanus, takes to becoming bathi, a basket. A small group of participants from UnitingWomen 2020 will have the opportunity to go deeper, by taking part in a post-conference tour to the remote homeland community of Mäpuru. These women will travel home with Yolŋu participants from the conference, in a two-day trip driving overland from the conference site to Katherine, then up through pristine Arnhem Land wilderness to Mäpuru.  


While in Mäpuru you will sit with master weavers, their daughters and their daughters’ daughters. You will learn a little about the kinship system that connects Yolŋu as family with each other and with everything around them. You will learn a little more about weaving, and have the opportunity to create your own weavings, under the guidance of very experienced teachers. Roslyn Malŋumba and her daughter Rebecca Gamadala travelled to the first two UnitingWomen conferences to share their stories and teach their weaving styles, and now they are inviting you to come and spend time with them and their family in their beautiful homeland community.


Dates

July 13th-21st

Rough itinerary:

Depart Darwin 8am Monday July 13th, camp at Mainoru. 

Arrive in Mäpuru on Tuesday July 14th in the late

afternoon, set up camp. 

Stay in Mäpuru Wednesday 15th to Sunday 19th of July, joining in cultural activities of weaving, dancing and visits on country as they arise. 

Depart Mäpuru Monday 20th July, camp at Mainoru. 

Travel to Darwin on Tuesday, 21st July, and enjoy a final meal together in Darwin to conclude the trip. 

Penny Whittaker is working with Roslyn and Rebecca to help coordinate this trip. She says, “This will be a bush camping experience. Participants will need to bring all their own utensils, tents, camping & bedding gear, and look forward to sharing campfire cooked meals, community drop toilets and cold showers. In addition to sharing life changing experiences with the Yolngu community in Mäpuru, we will also develop our own community of travellers as we work together to support each other in the provision of meals, and preparation and cleanup activities around the camp. It will be a hands on tour, there is no paid tour guide, we will all work as a team as we roll up our sleeves to prepare for and enjoy the experience together. The sharing of gifts in meal preparation & cleanup, 4WD driving, leading Sunday worship etc will be welcomed as part of the travelling community.”

Cost

Estimated cost: $1500 

Please note: this is a non-profit experience. The recommended price is to cover the cost of car hire, transport, food, accommodation along the way and Yolŋu cultural instruction during your time at Mäpuru. The final cost may be more or less than this estimate. A $500 deposit would need to be paid by April 12th and a final payment by June 12th. 

Contact

Please contact Penny Whittaker, pennywhittaker@yahoo.com.au, if you are interested in learning more about this once in a lifetime experience.