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Saturday, 6 August 2011

Hosting International Biology Students from Glamorgan, Wales

By Friday, 5 August 2008, 8 International Biology students and one lecturer from the University of Glamorgan, Wales, had all arrived in Nyungkal country, with own tents, food, and sharing a single 4 wheel drive van.  

The students arrived from Glamorgan, Wales to be jointly hosted on country by Bana Yarralji and the South Cape York Catchments.  They were all ready to meet Marilyn and Peter Wallace (Bana Yarralji) and Jason Caroll plus Samanth Hobbs (South Cape York Catchments), commencing a six week stint being hosted to explore, survey, document, and describe some of the rich biocultural diversity in the Annan catchment (Nyungkal country).

Not far up the road from Lot 7, 873 Shiptons Flat Road (Bana Yarralji's base), located on the rich, red basalt soils, is a relatively healthy "complex, notophyll, vine forest", known locally to Marilyn Wallace et al as Jarrabina forest (Jarrabina being the Nyungkal word for the Bennetts Tree Kangaroo).

It had been determined the Jarrabina forest might make a wonderous place for biology and ecology students and scientists to explore, conduct surveys, and discover the tropical biocultural diversity of the northern Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.  It is exactly the kind of thing Bana Yarralji would like to be able to host into the longer term future.

This time hosting these students on Nyungkal country is not a commercial, business type venture, but rather an opportunity to trial this kind of hosting, and learn from hosting these students, what, exactly, might be involved in trying to host students and scientists from around the world on a more regular, commercial basis.

Already, just from one day, borrowing some camera traps and equipment from South Cape York Catchments; going for a short walk along the red road between the forests; discovering stinging trees. lantana, wait a while, large strangler figs, orchids, butterflies etc etc; followed up by a bit of a dinner with large t-bone steaks, cake, choral singing in Nyungkal language; other songs; and even some didgeridoo playing   ..

Already, following the above, Bana Yarralji has started talking, and started trying to find out from the lecturer and students about exactly what might be needed and required to offer such hosting as a commercial product.  After one day, everyone's enthusiastic!!   Will see how everyone feels after 6 weeks!?!

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Cultural entreprenuers moving onto country, building a base on country, working on country; caring for country, and hosting guests on country