• The Welcome to Country app (Supplied)Source: Supplied
A Ngarluma man and digital storyteller has fused age-old culture with modern technology by launching an app that informs users when they cross into traditional tribal land.
Andrea Booth

26 Aug 2015 - 1:05 PM  UPDATED 27 Aug 2015 - 4:52 PM

Ngarluma man and digital storyteller Tyson Mowarin has launched with his company, Weerianna Street Media, a "Welcome to Country" app that provides in-depth cultural and geographical information about the traditional country a user enters.

Mr Mowarin said he wanted greater Australia to be better exposed to Indigenous Australian cultures that have been thriving for thousands of years on the southern continent.

"Other than places like some parts of the Northern Territory, Aboriginal culture and heritage isn’t as celebrated as much in mainstream Australia," he told NITV. "You can go to the big cities anywhere in Australia and you will see other heritage, you know, celebrated daily."

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The app was created as part of Weerianna Street Media's "Digital Dreamtime Project".

Mr Mowarin and his team consulted with elders and custodians to collect the information for the iPhone app that uses GPS to provide a video introduction about the culture specific to that traditional geographic location.

The features include cultural protocols and languages of the different territories. For some areas, a traditional owner delivers the introduction.

The Injinoo Dance Group rehearse before performing during a welcome to country ceremony (AAP)

The Welcome to Country app website said it expects its database to keep expanding from the app's version 1.0 that contains welcomes for 30 tribes across Indigenous Australia.

There are more than 250 tribes that make up Indigenous Australia.

He said he hoped the app could instill Indigenous and non-Indigenous people with more pride in the country in which they live.

"I'd like to see one day that every kid in Australia, black, white or otherwise, can name the local tribes in the place they live or they're travelling to.

"I want Aboriginal culture and heritage to be an everyday thing, not just a NAIDOC thing."

The Digital Dreamtime Project was supported by Woodside-operated Pluto LNG, the foundation sponsorship partner.

What is Welcome to Country?

A "Welcome to Country" is a practice that has taken place for thousands of years in Indigenous Australia where an Indigenous custodian or elder from a particular traditional area in Australia welcomes people to their land through speech, ceremony or music.

It is considered respectful to organise a "Welcome to Country" for public events. 

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NITV would like to acknowledge the Gadigal peoples who are the traditional custodians of the Eora Nation in which our headquarters stands.

We would like to pay respect to the elders both past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who may come across this website.

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