Locals We Love :: Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre

Jul 7, 2020 | Lifestyle Feature, Locals we Love

With school holidays in full swing, we wanted to chat to Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre who reopened their doors on Monday following Covid-19.

Nestled into the picturesque Burleigh Heads National Park, Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre is the Gold Coast's only dedicated Aboriginal cultural centre and is fully owned and operated by the local Aboriginal Yugambeh community.

We spoke to Emily Rolls of Kalwun Development Corporation to find out more about the programs that are available for families to enjoy.

Can you tell us a little more about the history of the centre?

Jellurgal is an initiative of Gold Coast-based Kalwun Development Corporation which provides a range of services and facilities for the Gold Coast's community of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in areas including housing, health, aged care, child protection and more. For some years, Kalwun offered Aboriginal cultural bus and walking tours on the Gold Coast, which were authorised and established by the traditional descendants of the Yugambeh language-speaking people of the Gold Coast and surrounding communities.

In the past, tours focused on schools and corporate groups. Now, Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre, with its highway frontage and beachside location, provides a one-of-a-kind tourism experience on the southern Gold Coast, fulfilling Kalwun’s moral responsibility to preserve, promote and share Aboriginal culture.

The Centre has in the past mostly worked with schools and corporate groups, however you are now offering more tours and experiences for tourists and the wider community. Given the school holidays are in full swing, what sort of tours and activities can families experience to learn more about and engage with Aboriginal culture?

During the school holidays we are offering our Jellurgal Walkabout Tour.  Learn about the Aboriginal history and culture of the Gold Coast on this engaging walking tour of the renowned Burleigh Headland. Start your tour with an audio/visual presentation in our Dreaming Amphitheatre followed by an Ochre Ceremony with ochre sourced from the mountain. Then take a guided walk around the “Dreaming Mountain”, Jellurgal, where culturally significant sites have played an important role in the lives of Aboriginal people. You will meet a traditional landowner and hear the dreamtime stories associated with the creation of Jellurgal.

Discover facts about traditional life pre-contact, bush tucker, fishing and hunting and learn about the important ecological practices and connection to the land displayed by the Yugambeh speaking people for thousands of years.

Tour times:
Jellurgal Walkabout tours run daily Monday - Friday, starting at 10am (subject to availability)
Approximately 2 hours (this can vary depending on the physical capabilities of the participants)
Also if you book online during the month of July if you use the code JULY20 you will receive 20% off your Jellurgal Walkabout Tour.

You also have an 8 week interactive program for children ‘Jellurgal Jarjums’, what a wonderful way for children to learn more about Aboriginal culture in a fun and interactive way. Can you tell us more about this program?

Jellurgal proudly offers our Jellurgal Jarjums cultural incursions — an eight-week interactive education program for pre-prep or senior kindergarten children.

Weekly sessions run for 30 minutes and include interactive activities such as dot painting, rock art, weaving, stories and much more.

A qualified Jellurgal representative will visit your day care centre and bring all materials required for each activity, all sure to engage and excite each member of the class. 

The sessions consist of following information:
Week 1: Introduction
Week 2: Weaving
Week 3: Yugambeh language words and counting
Week 4: Dreamtime stories
Week 5: Art symbols
Week 6: Boomerangs
Week 7: Rock art
Week 8: Rainbow serpent
Shorter or longer programs are available on request, call us to find out more!

Thank you so much for your time and we look forward to bringing our families down for a tour very soon!