The summer months are upon us, one of the many great things of living on this great land. Heading up or down the coast is the quintessential Australian summer holiday, enjoying the sun, sand, and the ocean, and all of the beauty Queensland has to offer. In addition to balmy days, white sandy beaches, and turquoise seas Queensland also boasts the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier is truly spectacular but to take your reef experience to the next level and discover a deep understanding of the reef and Sea Country, a day with Dreamtime Snorkel is a must.
Dreamtime Snorkel invites you to discover the Great Barrier Reef’s Dreamtime with Indigenous Cultural Guides on a day tour to two spectacular Outer Great Barrier Reef sites Milln and Flynn Reefs. We were lucky enough to have a yarn with the charismatic Trevor Tim from Dreamtime Snorkel to discuss this unique experience, the opportunities it creates and what the future of the business and the reef might look like.
“Hello mob, my name is Trevor Tim. My father’s side, Waanyi Gangalidda, that’s Darnley Island on the Gulf of Carpentaria. And my mother’s side, with me in spirit Mum, Darnley Island, Erub, so the best of both worlds. I reside here in Cairns I’m a local boy. Did my junior and senior at Cairns High School and have been in the tourism industry for about 15 odd years.”
In discussing Indigenous Tourism and the unique space which Dreamtime Snorkel holds as an Indigenous Experience owned by a non-Indigenous company and how he became involved Trevor said, “So, we were talking about Indigenous tourism and when they explained to me the space that they are operating in as a non-Indigenous company, looking at investing in Indigenous tourism, which is a big industry as such. I got excited about blak people being in the industry. And being a First Nations man and being in the tourist industry, it tweaked my interest, and it got me excited. And now my job is the cultural and community officer, so I look after all our First Nation crew members with the company, but I also liaise with the Traditional Owners as we operate on their Sea Country and on their Land Country.”
He goes on to explain the satisfaction in his role, “It’s a good indication that life is beautiful. And I choose to live life to the fullest and that is my message. And leading these beautiful young blak people working with Dreamtime Snorkel, well that comes to the table as well in regard to inspiration and motivation and helping them become the best that they can be. And they have a smile on their dial and use the financial vehicle as career pathways to better their lives, to better themselves.”
He also points out that there is a natural synergy in learning about the reef from an Indigenous perspective. “When you are talking about the largest living thing on planet Earth, the Great Barrier Reef, working with the longest living culture on Earth, isn’t that a fantastic connection! We are talking about the largest living thing on the planet Earth and talking about the mechanism of that, but then you have a First Nation’s person working alongside a marine biologist, both are professionals in their own right, one on biology and one on culture. And then you have got the best of both worlds! I love seeing visitors gobsmacked expressions and the way it opens their hearts, minds and ears to that conversation is uplifting. I mean we are all students for life, are we not?”
Trevor encourages people to come with an open mind to the Dreamtime Snorkel Experiences. “People come from all around Australia to Cairns for holidays, so if they are coming out on our trips, wherever they are from or whatever industry they are working in, I would like to think they have some sort of engagement with blak people, First Nation people. So what they learn from us here, it’s virtually a common way of communicating with First Nations people, acknowledging Traditional Owners, acknowledging language and ask the questions as a student, to learn. As we say up here in Far North Queensland, when you’re on another man’s Country, be ready to be the student, to learn. And if you are on our Country learn the process. When I am on your Country, I learn the process and respectfully with the minds, hearts, spirit open for the learning.