Our language group has been a part of history since 1770, with Captain James Cook’s 48-day stay at the Endeavor River. The words recorded by him gave the world the word ‘kangaroo’ so it’s essential our language, culture and knowledge remain intact.
Cultural affiliations/language group: Bulgun Warra, Guugu Yimidhirr & Kuku Yalandji
Community focus: Cooktown and Hopevale region, Queensland
Position: Indigenous Project Officer and Guide
Employer: James Cook Museum, Cooktown, National Trust Australia, Queensland
Interests: Research, education and history, repatriation — cultural heritage, curatorial/interpretation, project design and management, collections management
Harold Ludwick is a Bulgun Warra man whose traditional lands lie west of Cooktown. He identifies with the Black Cockatoo group with his Totem being the night Owl called Mirrgi. Harold spent many years in various Cape York communities where he has been privileged to learn their dances and songs. Harold has six siblings and eight children, and his grandparents were among the Stolen Generation. His grandmother died without ever returning to her country. His life experience and his passion for Indigenous rights has been the catalyst for his push for Indigenous issues to be taken seriously, taking him into remote communities and overseas.
Harold has been advocating for Indigenous people since his late 20s. Some activities he has been involved in include the inaugural Jawun secondment program; presenting a paper titled ‘Payment for eco-system services’ at conferences in Geneva and Rio de Janeiro; helping overturn the Wild Rivers legislation; participating in the Diplomacy Training Program at UNSW; acting as facilitator for the second round of Emerging Indigenous Leaders program; leading the national Recognise campaign visit to Cape York; and attending Front Line Defender (international human rights) training.
Harold recognises that Australia is a First Nation and his ambition is to bring the standards of people in rural areas to the same level enjoyed by Australians around the country, uncover the truth of the harsh history his people have endured and push for answers to the many questions left unanswered.
‘I see a need for my community to catalogue and archive history from their immediate groups and dialects so it will be forever accessible for the community in the future. Our elders are passing away and enough hasn’t been done to preserve their stories.
Education of our Nation has been overdue, advocacy of Indigenous Australians must start by having a platform to speak from! I see an urgent need for a national education platform, whether it be in the education curriculum or with state/federal acknowledgement.’