The Agalda Clan of Araru
Arnhem Land Coastal Camp
Situated in the pristine waters of the Cobourg Marine Sanctuary Park
We are the Aglada Clan and are privileged to be able to showcase this very special part of the world to you. We take great pleasure in providing our guests with an insight into the world’s oldest surviving culture (our Indigenous culture) and welcoming guests to country which is customary when entering Aboriginal Land. Our son Dwayne Wauchope is Traditional Owner and Director of Arnhem Land Coastal Camp (ALCC) and together we are the guardians of this land and people of the sea.
We ask that you respect the cultural importance of our land and waters when you are here and please remain sensitive to our culture; and to our delicate ecosystem. We kindly request that all guests adhere to the conditions of entry and code of conduct whilst on country and hope you enjoy your stay.
Welcome to Country Protocols – “Welcome to Country” is part of our tradition and has been a custom of ours for thousands of years and despite the absence of fences or visible borders, Aboriginal people/ groups have clear boundaries separating Country. Crossing onto traditional land (or another group’s Country) requires permission to enter. When permission is granted it is tradition for us as the host group to welcome you to country and offer you safe passage and protection on your journey. Welcoming guests to county maybe delivered to you in many forms i.e.: singing, dancing, smoking ceremonies or a speech in traditional language or English from the Traditional Owners of Araru.
Traditional Owners – the Agalda Clan
We acknowledge and pay tribute to the Traditional Owners of Araru past and present in particular our father, grandfather and their ancestors, and those with us today: Kathleen, Dulcie, Robert, Ubert, Charles and Roneld.
Director Dwayne Wauchope
Dwayne Wauchope belongs to the Agalda Clan of Araru. His skin name is NocJook. Family Man, Traditional Owner, long serving Park Ranger of Kakadu National Park and Director of Arnhem Land Coastal Camp he is well respected among his Clan and the wider community and his commitment to his family, the land and sea country is known to all.
Our culture and people’s identity is intertwined with the land and “sea country” and it is this relationship which significantly contributes to our people’s health and well being. (It is like looking across the ocean – it has no end and that’s what our relationship with the land and sea country is like). Our future and our children’s future is tied to the land.
For guests travelling into Arnhem Land, it is an adventure in culture and not just any culture; it’s the oldest surviving culture in the world.
Our people have lived in Arnhem Land for over 60,000 years, and during that time developed a sophisticated kinship system trading raw materials and building relationships with the Macassans of Indonesia dating back as far as 1100AD, and ancient ceremonies are still practiced today. These authentic cultural insights from the Traditional Owners are a real highlight and will help guests understand the deep connection we have to country.
The Agalda clan have traditional rights to use the resources of this area (land and water) as they have done historically for thousands of years.
Our Clan has marine estates and with that comes cultural rights and responsibilities of those estates.
We access the Cobourg Marine Sanctuary Park and its resources from our outstation in Araru (this is private traditional land). We eat dugong, turtle, crabs, fish and shellfish which have always been an important part of our people’s diet and we continue to preserve our stories and culture, and want to make sure they are passed on to future generations.
In particular the dugong and turtles have spiritual, ritual and mythological significance to us and Araru is home to sacred sites and these are protected under the provisions of the Northern Territory Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act whether they are registered or not.
Who we are Today
The Agalda Clan is made up of a small but vibrant group of Aboriginal people of all ages living in Araru and the wider community.
Following in our ancestor’s footsteps we feel particularly proud of our role as Traditional Owners taking care of country and we take our role seriously. We work closely with a range of external stakeholders: Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife, Northern Land Council (NLC), the Northern Territory Government and external stakeholder groups to protect and safeguard the land and sea country and promote good practices. We continually contribute to management strategies that will guide future management of the land, wildlife and marine ecosystem so it can be enjoyed by all.
Everything we do is about minimising any potential impact on the natural, cultural and historical environment.
Arnhem Land Coastal Camp proudly supports social, cultural and economic growth and will work with others for the benefit of the local people of Arnhem Land by way of creating employment opportunities, supporting community and preservation of culture and heritage and the environment.