Clinton Walker is a proud Burungu man from Ngarluma-Yindjibarndi country in the Pilbara, Western Australia.
After years of working in the mines, Mr Walker decided to start his own tour guide business.
“For me it was getting connection back to my culture. Having worked in mining for long I felt like I was being taken away from it all,” he told NITV News.
Ngurrangga Tours operates from Karratha and offers visitors a unique experience of the Pilbara through the eyes of a traditional owner.
“Aboriginal people still speak their language and all this sort of stuff. But what we’ve got is a lot of Songlines and things that people don’t really know about,” Mr Walker explained.
“And from the Pilbara’s point of view, its virgin country, no one has really seen the Pilbara from this point of view other than the people that live here.”
Tourists are learning about native bush foods and medicines on Ngarluma country, and explore some of the most breathtaking views the Pilbara has to offer.
However, it’s the rock art at Murujuga National Park which Clinton loves to show off.
Around one million rock art images are scattered across the entire Burrup Peninsula and Dampier Archipelago.
“Nowhere else in the world can you go to a place and see the largest outdoor art gallery in the whole world,” he says.
Located five kilometres north-east of Dampier and 35 kilometres from Karratha, Burrup Peninsula is surrounding my oil and gas mines.
The heritage listed site was involved in a Senate Inquiry investigating the impact of industrial pollution and matters related to the Commonwealth and Western Australian Governments’regulating on the Burrup Peninsula.
Mr Walker says when he takes non- Indigenous tourists to the peninsula many of them are shocked that an area which holds the oldest known representation of a human face on Earth, is on the verge of being destroyed.
“Generally they’re appealed and they can’t believe this sort of stuff happened and they didn’t know about. And they feel like the places like the rock art should be protected forever,” he said.
In February research found Aboriginal tourism in Western Australia contributed $43.8 million to the Gross State Product, and almost $30 million to the state’s income.
West Australian Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said at the time, the research, from Tourism WA, highlighted the importance of traditional Aboriginal culture.
The research found 78 per cent of Western Australian tourists had expressed an interest in Aboriginal tourism, and the interest had grown 19 per cent over the past five years.
Mr Walker, a proud Pilbara man, is thrilled to show off the north- west and says the region’s ‘rich history’ is what makes it a better area of the state to visit.
“I believe it’s because of our strong cultural connection. We still practice our lore and culture and we’ve been isolated from a lot of places for such a long time. Our culture has not diminished in any way,” he says.
Ngurrangga Tour offers a variety of tours including overnight trips and team bonding experiences.