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.
"I would highly recommend this experience- a lot of learnings to be had. Hard-hitting and confronting at times - this was very well put together to keep the audience engaged. We went in the evening and the setting/lighting and effects were stunning. The evening meal was very tasty and HUGE! Everyone was very friendly and helpful throughout the evening." TripAdvisor, Australia, April 2021
"Had a fantastic day and evening with my family and would recommend to anyone of all ages and nationalities. I am in awe of the dancers and singers and found it to be the most memorable ANZAC day I have had in years." Trip Advisor, Australia, April 2021
"This was a very spiritual and moving ceremonial remembrance of the Aboriginals, Torres Strait Islanders, New Zealanders and others who fought for Australia. I encourage all to attended and learn of these proud cultures." TripAdvisor, Australia, May, 2021
"Great environment to learn about aboriginal culture and understand the things better. Nice to see the co-work between the cultures and make experiences happen for a lot of people." TripAdvisor, Brisbane, Australia, May 2021
"Organising an excursion for 50 preps is always difficult, however, Spirits of the Red Sand is an easy choice. The event is extremely age-appropriate! My preps were engaged and enthralled by the experiences. Thank you for a memorable time we will be back!" TripAdvisor, Australia, May 2021