Prior to the formal establishment
of iDIDJ Australia in 2003, our principal officer had a 10
year history of engagement with Indigenous issues especially
in the areas of research, community development and education.
He has been consultant to Aboriginal community organisations,
tertiary institutions and government agencies such as the
Northern Land Council and the Aboriginal Areas Protection
Agency. In addition to previous employment as a university
Sessional Lecturer in Biological Anthropology, he has also
held the position of liaison officer for a Homelands Resource
Centre in an Arnhem Land community.
In the didgeridoo world, our principal officer found the
consonance of didgeridoo players worldwide in 1996 with a
website devoted to the traditional didgeridoo playing techniques
of Arnhem Land. 'Didjeridu Techniques of an Aboriginal Tribe'
was a reminder to didgeridoo players that there was more to
playing the instrument than circular breathing... the basic
fundamentals of technique and style was simply something most
didgeridoo players did not consider important.
The website was also the first to speak of the Yolngu people,
Arnhem Land and the yirdaki, and the first to demonstrate
the unique playing techniques of north-east Arnhem Land. As
the number of visitors to the website grew, so did public
consciousness as evidenced in the number of devotees worldwide
who made their pilgrimage to Australia's north. The didgeridoo
was no longer seen as merely a musical instrument but an important
part - indeed a continuing part - of the cultural heritage
of the Aboriginal tribes of northern Australia.
In 1998 our principal officer instigated the Wandering Didj
project, an ambitious undertaking involving the voyage of
an authentic Arnhem Land didgeridoo across the world for 3
years, with the part aim of raising awareness of didgeridoo
quality and authenticity issues.
Recognising the latent problems of exploitation in the didgeridoo
industry, our principal officer established a web presence
for Djalu Gurruwiwi in 2000 with the aim of helping Djalu
reclaim his market potential. This was augmented by the formal
establishment of Djalu's Rripangu Yirdaki enterprise and a
dedicated website in 2001.
Today, iDIDJ Australia continues to work on education, promotion,
advocacy and ethical trade, with the preservation of the didjeridu's
cultural integrity as one of its key objectives.