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Juan Walker

Cooya Beach, Far North Queensland

Walkabout Cultural Adventures in Far North Queensland is offering Australian and international visitors an authentic and unique tour experience. The operation has been recognised as an outstanding Aboriginal business, being selected for Tourism Australia's Signature Experience collective 'Discover Aboriginal Experiences'.

My name is Juan Walker, I'm the owner/operator of Walkabout Cultural Adventures, and I'm based up in Cooya Beach in Far North Queensland.

To describe my business, Walkabout Cultural Adventures, it's a small day tour operation based up in the Daintree of Far North Queensland, teaching people, visitors from all around the world, about the Aboriginal history, heritage, and natural environment of the region and how the Kuku Yalanji people utilised those environments.

Being my own boss is a good thing. I don't have to answer to anyone, but I've always got to be on the ball. That's the only downside of it, you're always working.

Looking back, there's nothing really, I would really want to change. I did it pretty slowly and steadily, so started small and just built it up to where I'm at today. So not really too much, maybe being a bit more organised.

Most of my advice I get from my Elders on what I'm allowed to share with people. I've built up a really good rapport with a number of old people from the Mossman area and that's who I look to for guidance and inspiration.

There's no real primarily interesting place that I find on Kuku Yalanji country. To me it's all interesting, it all plays a part.

Juan Walker, a Kuku Yalanji Rainforest Aboriginal, owns and operates Walkabout Cultural Adventures. Born and bred in the area and an experienced guide, Juan provides his guests with a distinctive tour experience and educational insight into his cultural connection to the land.

Before establishing Walkabout Cultural Adventures, Juan worked and volunteered in national parks and was a tour guide in the Daintree area. Juan was also selected to represent Tourism Australia in France and was sponsored by the Commonwealth Secretariat to attend a youth employment summit in Egypt. Through these experiences and the contacts he made, Juan developed the confidence to start his own business.

Starting small, Juan self-funded the beginnings of Walkabout Cultural Adventures. He now offers cultural and sightseeing tours, with options for private and tailor-made tours to provide flexibility for visitors. Carefully managing business growth, Juan has developed strong international business relationships with tour wholesalers. His passion comes from sharing his Aboriginal culture, which has proved the foundation for his great reviews, word-of-mouth bookings and business growth.

Juan's goal is to further develop his business and employ other Aboriginal peoples in his community. The interest in his offering so far has allowed him to hire 2 casual guides, instilling in them a sense of pride in their land and culture. These guides now pass on this pride to their guests with the same passion as Juan.

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