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 especially enjoyed interacting with the actors by walking through the village into different scenes. I would most definitely take visitors to see the show & recommend locals to go along." Trip Advisor, Brisbane, Australia, March 2021
"We learned a lot of things that we had never heard before. The meal was absolutely delicious with very generous portions. We found the whole experience both educational and entertaining and very good value for money." Trip Advisor, Robina, Australia, March 2021
"This was an excellent and raw experience - a story that needs to be told. The performance was very real and professional and was thoroughly enjoyed by all, including the meal at the end." TripAdvisor, March 2021
“A great sense of the Aboriginal journey tastefully done. The meal was more than sufficient and well prepared. Overall a great experience. Catered well for our group of two grandparents and 18 grandchildren.” TripAdvisor, January 2020
"This was one of the best experiences I’ve had on my Gold Coast holiday this week. The storyline was very confronting but needs to be told and we all need to learn." TripAdvisor, Shoalhaven, Australia, December 2020