Arnhem Land: the remote, wild, far north of Australia. Aboriginal land.
In 1803, the British explorer Matthew Flinders anchored in a bay on the eastern shore of the Wessel Eylandts, the northernmost tip of Arnhem Land. He described the local Yolngu people as very friendly. He called them Australians.
They were the first Australians.
When Australian Prime Ministers need to hear from Aboriginal people, they often travel here, where they listen to the voice of the Yolngu people. Famous for Bark Petitions, the evocative voice of Gurrumul, the primal sound of Yothu Yindi. And now home to Australia’s first Space Base.
The epic tale of a proud saltwater people, the Yolngu were influential in Australian affairs long before European settlement. Amazingly, they rejected the lure of foreign religions, particularly Islam. Then, well into the 20th century, modernity arrives with the first missionaries. Ancient culture and lifestyle finally meet modern civilisation.
In 1920 a young Edward Cornish, who recently arrived home from the war in Palestine, marries his childhood sweetheart Betty and dedicates his life to bringing the gospel to Aboriginal people. The Methodist Missionary Society sends him to remote Murŋginy Island, off the coast of Arnhem land. Together, the couple raises a family, and as well as bringing Good News to their new Yolngu friends, they encourage the beginnings of a successful sawmilling business, market gardens and a commercial fishing operation.
In the 1960s at the end of the missionary era, things changed. There is an incredible revival. The island is ablaze with a mighty fire! An ancient people touched by the Spirit spread revival across Australia and the world.
From the creation of all things, fleeing cannibals in the last great raft migration, and the mysterious appearance of golden coins from an ancient African empire. Warm tropical seas evoke stories of devastating cyclones, shipwrecks, and pirates.
Experience amazing culture, sorcery, and ceremonies of an ancient people. Spear-hunting giant crocodiles, living with deadly snakes and ferocious sharks. Tales of romance, healing, and redemption.
MAKARRATA will thrill, inform, and inspire.
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