Tjapukai boss has a message for the world
AFTER 25 years at the heart of Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, general manager David Dahwurr Hudson is calling it a day.
A co-founder of Tjapukai in 1987, when it was a small dance theatre in a Kuranda basement, Mr Hudson has been the general manager of the park for 3 1/2 years and will officially resign on November 30, leaving the park in the hands of chief executive officer Geoff Olson.
He will embark on a journey to the US next year to spread indigenous culture, while also building on tourism and training opportunities at Tullaroo Station to the west of Mt Surprise, which is owned by his dad's family, the Ewamian/Western Yalanji people.
Mr Hudson said resigning from Tjapukai would allow him to be a "global messenger" for North Queensland indigenous culture.
"I want to share my experience with other mobs and help them out too. I've got the drive and passion to take my indigenous message to show folks our culture is alive and well," he said.
"I will be doing cultural awareness lectures throughout the US university circuit and while I'm there I can give my own performances. It's a huge market and it's time I went back to revisit and re-establish my music and art."
Mr Hudson has seen many significant changes at Tjapukai over time and he believes next year's $10 million redevelopment is vital to the park and the Far North.
"We went from a small budget of $40,000 to $10 million, a small, 90-seat theatre to 25 acres, and there is room to grow again," he said.
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US journey: David Hudson quits at the end of the month to spread the word on Aboriginal art and culture. Picture: TOM LEE