Tourism operator Ted Hall says he lives in an untouched paradise and that’s something he wants to share with the world. He set up the Luridgii Aboriginal Eco Cultural Tours that takes visitors through the Argyle Diamond mine on his traditional lands.
VOICE OVER: Tourism operators like Ted Hall from the Kimberleys, are sharing their knowledge with visitors from around the globe.
TED: Ted speaks in Miriuwung language. Ted Hall—Miruwung Gajerrong man from the north east Kimberleys, Kununurra. My traditional homeland is Mandangala, where Lissadell pastoral lease now sits, and also where Argyle Diamond Mine is now operating for diamonds.
TED: My business name is Luridgii Aboriginal Eco Cultural Tours. Luridgii is the name of my traditional elders—that’s where I picked the name up and developed my business in regards to tourism.
VOICE OVER: Ted’s company takes visitors through the Argyle Diamond mine, he does cross-cultural training and has partnered with aircraft and river cruise companies to expand his business.
TED: The concept of the idea started in 2007. [Before that] we were part of the tribal groups that negotiated with Argyle Diamond Mine for Argyle to continue mining underground and that was signed off in 2004.
With the royalties monies coming in I knew I needed to create something outside of the norm of receiving royalty money and being welfare dependant [and] I thought why not tourism? Because I wanted to base my business on something that I am aware of, that I’m familiar with and that is my lands. It’s the story of the mines, the story of first discovery and how we entered into the agreement so I used that and then I started, plodding on, trying to create tourism.
VOICE OVER: Love of culture and country are driving many successful Indigenous tourism businesses in the north.
TED: Take a look at the country man—this is what I’m promoting. I mean we live in paradise up here. Nobody knows about this, but this is where it is.
Ninety nine per cent—maybe I’m exaggerating—but 70 per cent of the beauty is up in the north east Kimberleys. Not taking away from other areas, but up here we’ve got untouched paradise so why aren’t I promoting it?
VOICE OVER: The Australian Government’s northern agenda is making it easier to live and do business in northern Australia.