Arnhem Weavers and Two-Way Tours Developmental Tour

The Arnhem Weavers Workshop Area
The Arnhem Weavers Workshop Area

Arnhem Weavers and Two-Way Tours Cultural Tour
12 -18 July 2009

Arnhem Weavers Workshop Information
This workshop is offered to people interested in Yolngu (Indigenous people of North East Arnhem Land) culture where the focus is textiles. The knowledge and skills the participants will be shown by the workshop leaders has been passed down for thousands of years, It is, as it always has been. Participants will learn how to collect bark, pandanus and other plants. They will then be shown how to prepare the fibres for dyeing before weaving or spinning. It is expected that workshop participants are motivated to engage with and learn about Yolngu culture and therefore will be keen to learn the traditional skills offered by these women. English is not the first language for these women.

Whilst the focus of the workshop is on weaving, there will be opportunities for those interested participants to take part in hunting expeditions, including collecting mud crabs, a variety of shellfish, fish and other game that Mpuru residents regularly hunt. Men are welcome to attend.
Workshop Leaders: Two elderly women who have lived in their remote ancestral homeland all their lives are the workshop leaders; daily they spin and weave articles that they need for themselves, their relatives, for ceremonies and for sale. These sisters have remarkable skill, which is shown by the extent to which they have travelled throughout Australia teaching their skills through workshops at galleries and museums.

These women are expert at utilising a variety of seasonally available materials for their weaving. They use pandanus leaves, roots, and bark for spinning and weaving, as well as a wide selection of roots, leaves and fruits to dye the fibres before spinning and weaving. The women see their initiative as creating meaningful employment as well as financial independence for themselves and their families now, and in the future. They are striving to create a future for their families while maintaining the integrity of their culture without having to leave their custodial lands. On their own country they are able to make decisions about their lives.

Arnhem Weavers and Two-Way Tours
This is the first collaboration between the Arnhem Weavers and Two-Way Tours. By attending this event you will have a truly remarkable two-way learning experience. To date the women of Arnhem Weavers have planned, developed and managed their cultural tourism business with no public sector or industry support, except for the extraordinary efforts of their friendJohn Greatorex.

This workshop will act as a pilot for the Arnhem Weavers and Two-Way Tours by providing Mpuru community members with new opportunity to witness, evaluate and assess the benefits for them in engaging in joint ventures with a service provider who can assist with transport, catering, marketing and general tourism operations and logistics.

Two-Way Tours is first and foremost a practise firm that allows Yolngu to practise and perfect reputable and reliable tourism operations on country. Two-Way Tours simultaneously provides an awareness of alternative employment opportunities derived from tourism and hospitality as we encourage other community members to get involved in the behind the scenes operations.

For this pilot program we have adopted a two-payment structure. One direct to Two-Way
Tours for the provision of transport and catering and the second direct to the Arnhem
Weavers prior to leaving Mpuru.

Why do we separate the payment to Indigenous operators?
1. So you know your money is most definitely reaching the people it is meant for
2. So the payment to the Indigenous operator is not reduced via the commission based tourism distribution system
3. So Indigenous business owner/operators can develop and manage accountable administrative procedures for their own businesses, and
4. So the Indigenous operator can make self determined, calculated decisions about their families economic futures

Arnhem Weavers: $ 900.00
Two-Way Tours: $ 900.00
Total Cost: $1,800.00

For more information about the Arnhem Weavers please visit:
For more information about this developmental tour please contact Karen Young on 0401 100 221 or

Two-Way Tours
Contact Name: 
Karen Young
Contact Phone: 
0401 100 221
Contact Mobile: 
0401 100 221
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