The Indigenous members of Nyanda Cultural Tours are all the descendants of Jung-Jung (Roger Bell) fully initiated Yagara man and Ida Sandy a descendant of Alexander Sandy a fully initiated Yugarapul man, all members of the South East Queensland Goori Society. It is because of their ancestry and their connection to country that Nyanda tour guides take great pride in being the educators and contemporary knowledge holders of cultural traditions. We view our tours not simply as a tourism business, but as a privilege and cultural obligation.
Nyanda Cultural Tours offer a way for visitors to uniquely experience a connection to this culturally significant place located so close to the City of Brisbane, Australia. *Nyanda is the Yagara word for waterhole or lagoon. Whether you’re a local; here on business, a student, or visiting … we’re looking forward to meeting you. We invite you to spend some time with our Aboriginal tour guides who will lead you around Brisbane’s Nudgee Waterholes, Bora Ring and Bush Food Gardens site. Features of our tours include Aboriginal cultural insights and stories, Aboriginal history, and Aboriginal cultural performance elements. During the 2 hours visitor tour, you will be able to participate in a smoking ceremony; taste seasonal bush foods and see where witchety grubs live; participate in weaving and ochre-making demonstrations; view a fossilised spear that was discovered here; and listen to a bull-roarer at the sacred Bora Ring. A bush foods bush foods tasting will also be served as part of this tour, including wattle seed damper with rosella, wild lime and lilly pilly jams; and our very own special Nyanda lemon myrtle cordial.
Madonna Thomson is a member of the Jagera People and is a grand-niece of the late Senator Neville Bonner. Madonna has worked with Aboriginal Communities in South East Queensland with a particular focus on developing and sharing traditional knowledge about management of the State’s natural resources and environment.
It’s been a natural progression into the tourism sphere, with so many new and fantastic employment opportunities being generated for Aboriginal people within this industry sector. Madonna is looking forward to further contributing to an extraordinary Aboriginal legacy for the Brisbane area.
Madonna has worked extensively for more than 15 years in native title, cultural heritage and natural resource management. Madonna was instrumental in developing a regional engagement framework, in consultation with the Traditional Owner groups of South East Queensland. The engagement framework guided government and community engagement with Traditional Owner groups for seven years, creating a more effective process and mechanism for meaningful engagement, based on community principles.
Madonna has presented at numerous international, national and state conferences on Indigenous engagement and governance in native title, cultural heritage and natural resource management. For more than 12 years, Madonna has been involved in the facilitation of Aboriginal engagement in Natural Resource Management programs at state and national levels. She is adept at the negotiation of Indigenous Land Use Agreements and Cultural Heritage Management Plans/Agreements. Madonna creates and builds corporate and governance models, facilitates organisational capacity building and advises on accountability and business management.