The study aimed to increase the body of knowledge regarding the impacts of tourism on Australia’s Indigenous people and to make recommendations that would minimise negative impacts and maximise economic and socio-cultural benefits for the Djabugay community. The Djabugay community of Far North Queensland was chosen, as it is impacted by tourism in three distinct ways. First, by living on traditional land in a tourist destination; secondly, by being an equity partner in the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, which features its culture; and thirdly by its members working as employees in the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. The impacts of tourism were found to be both positive and negative. The positive impacts are the revival of Djabugay culture; employment opportunities; working together; a decrease of stereotypical images and increased cross-cultural understanding and an improvement in material welfare. The negative impacts of tourism include the degradation of Djabugay culture; exploitation of the Djabugay community; lack of tourist interaction and a lack of improvement in material welfare. Whilst the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park is owned and controlled by predominantly non-Indigenous, non-Djabugay people, the Djabugay community continue to have very little power and control over the decision making and operations of the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. Therefore, the needs and aspirations of the Djabugay community is largely ignored, even though it is their culture that is featured there. Although the Djabugay people have perceived positive as well as negative impacts of tourism, as a community it is not experiencing enhanced economic or socio-cultural benefits from its involvement with tourism. As such, the legacy of disadvantage from colonialism is not reversed from its engagement with tourism. Recommendations have been suggested for the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park and the Djabugay community.
Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Arts, University of the Sunshine Coast, 1999.