WAITOC's vision is to see the creation of a vibrant authentic Aboriginal tourism industry as an integral component of Australia’s tourism industry and for Western Australia to become the premier destination in Australia for authentic Aboriginal experiences. Our aim is to create a vibrant Aboriginal component of Western Australia’s tourism industry, raising the profile of Aboriginal tourism on a State, National and International level.

patron-sam-lovell.jpgSam Lovell

Sam Lovell was born in January 1933 on Calwynyadah Station in the Kimberley. His father was Jack Lovell, part owner of Calwynyadah Station. Sam was taken away to Mulla Bulla Station in 1937 when he was 4 years old. Mulla Bulla Station was an Aboriginal settlement where so called “half caste” kids were taken. Sam does not remember his mother and never saw her again after he was taken away.

Sam has an extensive background in tourism establishing his own tourism business in 1981, called the Kimberley Safaris Tours, prior to that his employment ranged from truck driver, stock hand to fencing yard building contractor.

Until recently Sam was employed by Aboriginal Economic Development (AED), Department of Industry and Resources  as an Aboriginal Tourism Project Officer, he filled that role since 1995. Sam’s role included:

  • Providing on-site advice and practical assistance to Aboriginal clients involved or proposing to be involved in tourism activities
  • Assisting in negotiations and interpretation between Aboriginal people and government departments and tourism operators
  • Identifying training needs for Aboriginal tourism enterprises and negotiating with training agencies for the provision of training
  • Provide on-site training to a number of Aboriginal tourism enterprises
  • Provide on-site training to a number of Aboriginal tourism enterprises
  • Participate in activities marketing Aboriginal tourism ventures

Sam was awarded the Sir David Brand Award in 1988 for his contribution to tourism and was runner up for this award in 1985.

A tourism award, the Sam and Rosita Lovell Tourism Award has also been named after him and was presented annually by the Kimberley Tourism Association.

In 2000 Sam also received a Commonwealth Recognition Award for Senior Australians. To this day Sam continues working in Aboriginal Tourism supporting operators throughout WA.

patron-dale-tilbrook.jpgDale Tilbrook

Dale is a Wardandi Bibbulmun woman from the South West of Western Australia. Dale's tourism journey started in 1996 with a small company with her brother Lyall Tilbrook, making returning boomerangs and other artefacts.

They were proud to be awarded an Olympic swing tag for the sale of their boomerangs during the 2000 Games in Sydney. In 1998 Dale and Lyall opened their first Aboriginal gallery and gift shop in the Swan Valley.

Dale often remarks that the beautiful artwork is a perfect device to entice people into the gallery, giving her the opportunity to talk with visitors, broadening their understanding of Aboriginal culture, history and language. Education is an important part of the cultural experience offered at Maalinup.

Dale also works extensively with students of all ages through school incursions and education programs and is regularly called upon by the corporate sector to deliver talks about bush foods and cultural awareness programs.  Through her Dale Tilbrook Experiences website, guests can book an Aboriginal cultural experience on bushtucker, Aboriginal art or local history and culture, which are held at Maalinup Aboriginal Gallery at Mandoon Estate in the Swan Valley.

Native plants and their traditional uses, both their nutritional and medicinal properties, are a passion for Dale. Her extensive knowledge, gleaned from elders and her own research, has made Dale a sought-after bush tucker speaker and researcher.

Dale has served on the Boards of many organisations including the:

  • Swan Valley and Eastern Regions Slow Food Convivium;
  • ANFAB (Australian Native Foods and Botanicals);
  • WITH-WA (Women in Tourism and Hospitality); and
  • The WA Parks Foundation.

but now devotes time to research projects with various institutions such as Curtin University, Telethon Kids Institute and Edith Cowan University as an Elder/Chief Investigator where her bushtucker expertise and community experience is called upon.