Ngurrangga Tours has taken the prestigious the Sir David Brand Award for Excellence in Tourism, and a gold award in the category Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism Experiences at the WA State Tourism Awards.
There were 26 categories at the awards, with one of the gold winners chosen for the highest honour, the coveted Sir David Brand Award, named after the former WA Premier.
Clinton Walker, CEO and owner of Ngurrangga Tours said that the Sir David Brand Award is the most important accolade to date.
"For me it's actually a big, important win, because as a business, it's recognition that we've out shone all the other regions in WA," Mr Walker said.
"And that's in place that's not even considered a tourism destination by many people, which makes it even more significant.
"As a result of winning the Sir David Brand award, I think people will take us more seriously as a region."
This isn't Mr Walker's first award. In 2021, Mr Walker was inducted into the WA Tourism Awards Hall of Fame and won the FACET Golden Guide Award.
"All of the other awards are great, but they are individual awards, but this one goes to show that the tourism industry actually believes that our business is right up there with the best," Mr Walker said.
Mr Walker and his team of guides take clients to see the wonders of the Pilbara, educating and immersing them in the ways of his culture, its rich and sometimes tragic history, and its connection to the region's unique country.
"It means so much to all of us and shows the guides working me that it's a proper team effort, that our team has really shone through, and everyone can celebrate the win," said Mr Walker, a descendant of the Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi people, the traditional landowners of the coastal and inland areas of the West Pilbara.
"For my guides currently working for me, this was their first experience going to a tourism event, and to win the most prestigious award shows that our hard work throughout the year has reaped rewards.
"My nephew who works for me didn't want to put the award down, he was so proud."
Mr Walker said that the award is significant because it shows that Aboriginal tourism is at the forefront of tourism in Western Australia.
"It shows that the industry itself acknowledges and appreciates Aboriginal contributions to tourism to the whole of the state. Aboriginal tourism is what people want when they visit WA."
Ngurrangga Tours has been offering indigenous cultural tours of the Pilbara for ten years. Guests are given the opportunity to learn about bush foods and medicines, explore stunning locations, view and understand ancient rock art in the world's largest outdoor rock art gallery, hear traditional stories and listen to traditional songs sung using the wirra (boomerang).
Visit https://www.ngurrangga.com.au for more information.