Traditional Owners named as Seabourn ship’s Godparents

Seabourn is the first cruise line to appoint Traditional Owners as Godparents of a ship.

Luxury cruise liner Seabourn has announced that Western Kimberley Traditional Owners, the Wunambal Gaambera people, have been appointed as the Godparents of one of its vessels.

The naming ceremony will take place on Seabourn Pursuit’s voyage in the Kimberley region of northern Western Australia departing on June 22.

The company said the naming serves as a symbolic gesture of stewardship and responsibility towards the environment and the communities that Seabourn visits.

Seabourn President, Natalya Leahy, said the company believes no one can give a better blessing to its ships than the communities they visit. 

“We truly believe in the transformative power of travel, and when we visit local communities, we are able to both celebrate their culture and drive positive sustainable change in the places they call home,” Ms Leahy said.

“When we set out to name the godparent for Seabourn Pursuit, we knew we wanted to do something that celebrates this special moment for the ship and also allows us to drive long-term sustainable positive change in line with the values Seabourn and our guests stand for.”

The Wunambal Gaambera people are the Traditional Owners of a region in the Kimberley that includes the sea country of Ngula Jar Island (Vansittart Bay) and Yirinni (Hunter River), and the freshwater country of Ngauwudu (Mitchell Plateau).

Chairperson of the Wunambal Gaambera Aboriginal Corporation, Catherine Goonack, said the Wunambal Gaambera people have a communal need and responsibility to look after and prosper from their country. 

“Seabourn’s contributions will assist us to be on country, look after and keep our land and sea country healthy, strengthen our Wanjina Wunggurr culture, and create economic opportunities for our people,” Ms Goonack said.

“It is important we are looking after our country in the way of our Wanjina Wunggurr law. 

“We appreciate Seabourn’s support to us in these efforts and look forward to sharing our unique Uunguu Experience with Seabourn and their guests as the garrangarru or Godparents of the Seabourn Pursuit.”

Seabourn’s monetary contribution along with funding already received from Tourism Western Australia will contribute to Wunambal Gaambera’s development of tourism facilities.

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