Australian Traditional Owners to be godparents of new Seabourn ship

Seabourn has announced the Traditional Owners of a region in Australia’s Kimberley will act as godparents of its expedition ship Seabourn Pursuit.

The line said the Wunambal Gaambera Traditional Owners’ appointment “serves as a symbolic gesture of stewardship and responsibility toward the environment and the communities that Seabourn visits, as well as Seabourn’s commitment to sustainable tourism”.

The naming ceremony will take place during Seabourn Pursuit’s June 22-July 4 sailing in the Kimberley region.

Natalya Leahy, president of Seabourn, said: “We believe no one can give a better blessing to our ship than the communities we visit. We truly believe in the transformative power of travel, and when we visit local communities, we are able to both celebrate their culture and drive positive sustainable change in the places they call home.

“When we set out to name the godparent for Seabourn Pursuit, we knew we wanted to do something that celebrates this special moment for the ship and also allows us to drive long-term sustainable positive change in line with the values Seabourn and our guests stand for.”

The Wunambal Gaambera people are the Traditional Owners of a region in the Kimberley that includes the sea country of Ngula Jar Island (Vansittart Bay) and Yirinni (Hunter River), and the freshwater country of Ngauwudu (Mitchell Plateau).

Representatives from the Wunambal Gaambera Aboriginal Corporation will be at Ngula Jar Island to participate in the inaugural dedication ceremony on June 29.

In addition to appointing the Traditional Owners as godparents, Seabourn will also make a donation to support the development of a self-sustaining industry, including the production of arts and crafts for sale, and will continue to work in partnership.

Catherine Goonack, chairperson of the Wunambal Gaambera Aboriginal Corporation, said: “We, the Wunambal Gaambera people, have a communal need and responsibility to look after and prosper from our country.

“Seabourn’s contributions will assist us to be on country, look after and keep our land and sea country healthy, strengthen our Wanjina Wunggurr culture, and create economic opportunities for our people.”

She added: “It is important we are looking after our country in the way of our Wanjina Wunggurr law. We are happy when we and our future generations are living and working on our healthy Wunambal Gaambera Country.

“We appreciate Seabourn’s support to us in these efforts and look forward to sharing our unique Uunguu Experience with Seabourn and their guests as the garrangarru or godparents of the Seabourn Pursuit.”

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