It was with great pleasure, feeling like proud parents, that we learnt of Kruze’s win, being awarded the 2023 Destination Indigenous Queensland’s Young Achiever Award on Wednesday 22 November.
When you meet Kruze, immediately you feel at ease, there is a bone-deep honesty that radiates from him. His passion and love for his people and this land is visible in every expression and word. In this past year, Kruze has reinvented himself as an emerging elder, being recognised as a community leader since the passing of his grandfather. Kruze feels the weight of this responsibility, for himself, his family, his tribe and future generations.
Kruze has ties to this area, to the Scenic Rim, and to the Mt Barney region in particular, as he is descended from the Ugarapul people on his grandfathers side and the Bidjara people on his grandmothers side. Kruze did not have the easiest start to life. But he did have a strong connection and love for his grandfather, Uncle John. It is through Uncle John that Kruze began to understand the importance of a physical, emotional and spiritual connection to country. Kruze’s thirst for knowledge and his deepening connection to his indigenous heritage led to the formation of a tour product “Yarriba”, which means “walking”.
In 2022, a partnership with Mt Barney Lodge began. Throughout this time, Kruze has been developing his cultural knowledge, reconnecting with elders and being on Country with fellow Traditional owners, creating artefacts, revisiting sacred sites, learning and conducting traditional burns, delivering Welcome to Country and cultural talks for youth groups.
Throughout these travels on Country, Kruze is shadowed by the wedge tailed eagle, the shared totem of Kruze and his Uncle John.
The Yarriba Dreaming 3-day package is the first market-ready commisionable Indigenous tourism product within the Scenic Rim. It is also the only immersion experience offered in the greater South-East Queensland area. Read about the experience here: Yarriba Dreaming Immersion