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Australia - Uluru, Northern Territory // True Local

Killvan's Australia. A tale of how a 30,000 year old tribe can teach us a thing or two about localism.

Sarah was introduced to us at the halfway point of our adventure through the Red Centre of Australia. Her presence was calming, almost clumsy yet above all very welcoming. Her gestures resonated in unison with the environment surrounding Uluru, she had a bewildering energy that heightened the experience and brought old lives of the desert back to life for us to enjoy.

Fortunate to be traveling in a small group we could hear Sarahs stories easily as we sat in a small circle in the shade of Uuru. It hasn't been that long since white fella came across this land, and her stories passed on to her by her grandfather revealed times when the land was all that the Anangu people knew.

Sarah shared the more intimate aspects of the Pitjantjatjara in Anangu, which is the local language which was translated for us. At the base of Uluru away from the misplaced tour bus crowds, these stories provided a reaffirmation of a fundamental life process. We are all on borrowed time and recycled energy, and when our time ends our energy is given back to the land for life to continue on. It was a privilege to be here in real time to learn more of a culture which has true values, and that is much older and more established than any culture we've ever known, especially compared with our own coastal dwelling tribe.

Sarah told a story of how a wandering group of outsiders came to pass through the Pitjantjatjara, the Anangu people as the rightful custodians to the area met the group at the lands perimeter. As a gesture of peace the elder offered his spearhead as a truce and the group could pass through freely. There were rules, they worked when respected, it seemed simple.

For the most part Sarah's stories carried peace, though conflict and unrest were also present. One shorter story revealed that when the laws and culture of the land are disrespected a physical confrontation is the result. As a modern day coastal tribesman this was something our tribe could relate to.

Both Sarah and her grandfather were true locals, their occupation going back as far as 30,000 years. Though Sarah didn't focus on the time in which they had been there to spruce her local connection, her focus was sharing the stories of the Pitjantjatjara and their Anangu culture with new comers to the land. It's this willingness to give time to those who don't understand the laws and ways of the Anangu that are signs of a true local. We left Sarah with knowledge, respect and warmer hearts.

While we were thousands of kilometers from riding waves, thanks to Sarah and her grandfathers stories, the Anangu culture renewed the importance of respect and sharing within our own tribe. These stories at their core served as a reminder to respect the waves we travel to surf, and more so follow the laws of those who call it home, and be happy to share the secrets of our own land.

Sharing stories and respecting ones home, not new themes to our coastal dwelling wave riding tribes, though perhaps forgotten from time to time.




Location: Uluru, Northern Territory, Australia.

Optimum: The winter months of May June July.

Weather: Cold nights to zero, and perfect temperate days in Winter. Summer is hellishly dry and hot.
Access: Fly direct in from any major Australian capitial city. Or drive for days through the desert if you dare...
Accomodation: Camping, or 4 to 5 star accomodation.

Live Free:  10/10.  Where else but the Red Centre.


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