Booderee and indigenous tourism
In 2010 the Wreck Bay community made Australian history, taking out an international award in the Virgin Responsible Tourism Awards 2010. Today nearly 80 per cent of Booderee's staff and contractors are local Indigenous people, working in the park and helping visitors connect with their culture.
Booderee is home to the people of Wreck Bay who have cared for the land and waters of the Jervis Bay area for many generations. The people of the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community are proud of this association -passing on their special knowledge and ancestral and creation stories to their families. Booderee, in the Dhurga language of the region, means 'bay of plenty'. It is the name chosen by the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community for the former Jervis Bay National Park and Jervis Bay Botanic Gardens following the handback of the area to the Aboriginal traditional owners.
The extensive Koori knowledge of natural resources around the Jervis Bay area continues to expand. Wreck Bay people use the bush as a natural classroom for younger people. The bush is also for collecting foods and medicines, learning stories and interpreting indicators of seasonal and climatic change.
The opportunities for visitor education about local Koori culture are among Booderee's most important assets. The Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community has vast experience in cultural interpretation. Booderee Botanic Gardens are the only Aboriginal-owned Botanic Gardens in Australia. The Botanic Gardens are becoming known as a centre for interpreting plant uses by local Aboriginal people.
Involving the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community in caring for Booderee assists in determining long-term conservation goals and benefits for the community and the park.