So Spirits of the Red Sand is located on Yugambeh country and Uncle Eddie has traditional ties to Yuggera, (Ipswich and Brisbane area); Kubbi Kubbi (North Coast/Sunshine Coast area); Nughi (Moreton Island); Nunukul (North Stradbroke Islands); Gorenpul (Stradbroke and Mainland); Kombumerri (Gold Coast). Eddie Ruska and his son Shannon created a drama and dance program for at-risk Youth. Aboriginal children would come to Eddie & Shannon’s programs to enjoy dance, drama and song – and to feel like they belonged. Eventually, this grew into a world acclaimed travelling dance group. As a reward for all their hard work, Eddie, Shannon and their family fundraised to take the dance troupe to New Zealand on an Indigenous Tour.
It was here the magic happened. Eddie, Shannon and their group of youth came across Tamaki Maori Village – and were entranced. Here was New Zealand’s indigenous Maori people making a name for themselves not only within their country, but internationally. Guests from all over the world came to Tamaki Maori Village to interact with the culture, performances and storytelling of the Maori people. The seed was sewn – why not take this similar concept to Australia, but with the Aboriginal culture? And when storytelling and cultural tourism mastermind Mike Tamaki came on board, this is exactly what took place.
While Spirits of the Red Sand differs from Tamaki Maori Village in many ways, the essence is the same – to create respect and admiration for a culture through storytelling, to leave people from all over the world with unforgettable memories and to help local indigenous people thrive through sustainable work and career development.
Our vision is to be Australia’s #1 Aboriginal Dinner show experience through storytelling and delivering our culture in a uniquely world class visitor experience.
We will achieve this by always delivering authentic Indigenous engagement and a platform that allows our community and guests to participate in how we, a 60,000 year-old people, tell, and share our history and our culture.
"This was a great experience for our high school young people. It was such a great day of learning, connecting to culture, learning the histories of the area. " TripAdvisor, Australia, August 2022
"This by far was the best experience I’ve ever had. The things you learn is so invaluable, you do not learn of this stuff in schools and it should be. I felt this deep in my heart, made me cry and it will forever be a moment I will remember. " TripAdvisor, Australia, August 2022
"I would highly recommend this show to anyone. The cast gave a moving true story of the aboriginal people and what they went through. It was eye-opening and educational. Thank you for an amazing night that we will never forget! " TripAdvisor, Australia, May 2022
"It’s absolutely lovely to be able to be a part of celebrating NAIDOC and First Nations Culture. Loved the stalls and Indigenous artworks and businesses. Especially loved the dancing, Bush Tucker Bunjie and the Educational sessions. " TripAdvisor, Australia, July 2022
"Second year we have been and it's just amazing. Great food, entertainment and the markets are fantastic.. always stock up on my Davidson Plum jam - yum! And there is a young artist there, Stephen Hogarth, who is brilliant.. love his work. Well worth the visit. I'll be back next… " TripAdvisor, Australia, July 2022
"This is a story that every Australian, every Queenslander - and every visitor to Queensland - needs to know. The performers did a great job of telling us a very confronting story that must be extremely painful to tell. I felt humbled that the performers were prepared to share… " TripAdvisor, Australia, July 2022