BW Tribal Blog

Remembering the South Sea Islander Labourers
In the late 19th century, 62,000 South Sea Islander labourers were brought to the country between 1863 and 1904, primarily from Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, to work under a system of indentured labour in the sugar cane industry. This event marked the beginning of a dark chapter in Australian history, as the Islanders, many of whom were kidnapped or coerced into leaving their homes, were subjected to harsh working conditions, poor living arrangements, and racial discrimination.
Welcome to Country vs Acknowledgement of Country
Welcome to Country is a formal ceremony performed by Indigenous Elders or recognised representatives of the community, welcoming people to the land and sharing its stories. An Acknowledgement of Country is a statement of respect that can be delivered by anyone, recognising the enduring connection between the land and its First Peoples. By engaging in these practices with sincerity and reverence, we contribute to a more inclusive Australia that honours its Indigenous heritage.
Celebrating Indigenous LGBTQ+ This Pride Month
Happy Pride Month! The Indigenous LGBTQ+ community in Australia is a vibrant and resilient group that navigates the unique intersections of their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and queer identities. Indigenous LGBTQ+ Australians make an important impact on the nation's cultural landscape, and in this article, we celebrate their experiences and the progress being made towards greater acceptance and equality. 
Mabo Day
Mabo Day, observed annually on June 3rd, commemorates the landmark 1992 High Court decision that recognised Indigenous Australians' land rights, overturning the doctrine of terra nullius. Led by Eddie Koiki Mabo, the case acknowledged Indigenous Australians' long history and connection to the land, leading to the Native Title Act 1993. Mabo Day is a celebration of resilience, justice, and the ongoing journey towards reconciliation in Australia.
Artist Interview: Deb Belyea's NAIDOC 2024 Win & Historic Collab with BW Tribal
As a proud Samuawgadhalgal woman from the top Western Torres Strait Islands, Deb Belyea has always drawn strength and inspiration from her cultural heritage. Through her vibrant artworks, educational initiatives, and now a groundbreaking collaboration with BW Tribal, Deb is on a mission to keep the fire of Torres Strait Islander culture burning brightly for generations to come.
National Sorry Day: Remembering the Stolen Generations
May 26 is National Sorry Day in Australia, a day dedicated to acknowledging and apologising for the forced removal of Indigenous children from their families. These children, known as the Stolen Generations, were systematically separated from their families and communities from the mid-1800s until the 1970s. National Sorry Day provides an opportunity for the nation to pause and reflect on the immense trauma and suffering caused by these policies.
Nicky Winmar's Defiant Stand: The Moment That Ignited the Fight Against Racism in AFL
In 1993, Nicky Winmar, a proud Noongar man, took a stand against racism during an AFL match that would go down in history. Faced with relentless racial abuse from the crowd, Winmar lifted his jersey and pointed to his skin, declaring, "I'm black and I'm proud to be black." This defiant act, captured in an iconic photograph, sparked a movement that forced the AFL to confront the pervasive issue of racism in the sport.
This Reconciliation Week, Wear It Yellow For First Nations Kids
Reconciliation Week 2024 sees the Wear It Yellow campaign, alongside Children's Ground, leading the charge in supporting First Nations children. The initiative strives to create a future where these children can flourish, connected to their culture and liberated from social and economic disadvantage. By donning yellow this Reconciliation Week, participants can ignite discussions, boost awareness, and contribute to building a fairer society for all Australians.
Deb Belyea's 'Urapun Muy' Wins NAIDOC 2024 Poster Competition
Samuawgadhalgal artist Deb Belyea as the winner of the 2024 NAIDOC Week Poster Competition. Belyea's winning artwork, titled 'Urapun Muy', meaning 'One Fire' in the Kalaw Kawaw Ya dialect, beautifully embodies this year's theme, "Keep The Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud".
Electric Fields Represent Australia at Eurovision 2024: A Milestone for Indigenous Representation
Electronic duo Electric Fields will represent Australia at Eurovision 2024 in Malmö, Sweden, performing their new track, "One Milkali (One Blood)", which incorporates Yankunytjatjara Aboriginal language. Known for blending contemporary electronic soul with ancient Indigenous culture, the duo sings in Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara, and English, reflecting their commitment to their roots and modern expressions.
Archie Moore's 65,000-Year Family Tree Wins Prestigious Art Prize
Indigenous artist Archie Moore made history, winning the best national presentation at the Venice Biennale for his installation "kith and kin." Tracing his 65,000-year ancestral lineage, Moore meticulously covered the space with chalk, confronting Australia's colonial past and celebrating the enduring connection between Aboriginal people and their lands.
Hooked on Success: Indigenous Fisherman Lands Million Dollar Catch
Keegan Payne, a 19-year-old fisherman from Katherine, Northern Territory, has become the first winner of the Million Dollar Fish competition's grand prize. While many have cast their lines in hopes of reeling in the elusive million-dollar catch, it was Payne who finally broke the drought
Jarjums and Pikninis
Did you know that in Indigenous Australian cultures, children are widely known as "jarjums" and "pikninis"?  From birth, jarjums and pikninis are surrounded by love and care, with special ceremonies and rituals performed to welcome them into the world. As they grow, they learn the ways of their people, including respecting Elders, caring for the land, and maintaining their cultural identity.
ANZAC Day: Remembering Our Indigenous Soldiers
ANZAC Day is a time for us to come together as a nation and pay our respects to the brave soldiers who fought for our freedom. It's a day to remember the sacrifices made by the Anzacs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) who landed at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. But there's another group of soldiers whose contributions are often overlooked - our Indigenous Anzacs.
The Meaning Behind the Name: BW Tribal's 'Zenadth Kes' Collection

Zenadth Kes, derived from the names of the four winds that dance across the Torres Strait, speaks to the deep relationship between the Torres Strait Islanders and their environment. We've taken inspiration from Zenadth Kes for our latest collection. Each piece in our ally-friendly range is a tribute to the Torres Strait Islanders and their incredible heritage. 

What Is Cultural Load?

Cultural load is an important issue that often goes unseen in Australian workplaces.‘Cultural load’ is the extra set of responsibilities that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees often carry, on top of their regular job duties. 
So what exactly does cultural load look like? Well, Indigenous employees are often expected to be the go-to people for anything related to Indigenous matters.

From a Heartfelt Yarn to a Deadly Preschool: Dalaigur's 60-Year Journey.
Dalaigur Preschool has a rich history that goes back 60 years. It all started with a heartfelt yarn over a cup of tea between some visionary local aunties. They wanted to create a nurturing and safe place for the little ones in their community to learn and grow. Fast forward to today, and Dalaigur been honoured with the Outstanding Early Education and Care Service Award.
Blak Trekkers Conquer Everest Base Camp, Didgeridoo in Hand
In an awe-inspiring display of Indigenous pride and physical prowess, a group of Indigenous Australians known as the Blak Trekkers recently conquered the challenging trek to Everest Base Camp. Among them was Jeremy Donovan, who made history by becoming the first Aboriginal person to play the didgeridoo at the mountain's South Base Camp.
Wandjina: The Rainmakers of The Dreamtime
The Wandjina are revered rainmaker spirits deeply rooted in the Dreamtime stories of the Kimberley region in Northwestern Australia. They are the masterful creators of the land, its people, and the forces of nature. With their power, they sculpted the landscapes, filling them with life and energy. 
Our Flag, Our Story
"Our Flag, Our Story" brings the Torres Strait Islander flag and its profound significance to life. Through the eyes of Bernard Namok Jnr, witness the birth of a symbol that unites a community with pride and identity. Ideal for young readers yet resonant with all ages, this book is a key to understanding and celebrating the diverse heritage that shapes Australia.
The Untold Story of Aboriginal Migration to Indonesia 150 Years Ago
A hidden chapter of history where Indigenous Australians were part of a vibrant community in Southeast Asia 150 years ago has recently come to light. This discovery came through a collection of vintage photographs found in an Italian library.