What We Offer

Welcomes to Country (and Harbour).

Performance, workshops and education.

Canoe and other harbour discoveries.

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Have your event or conference openly respect the spirit of Gadigal country correctly and meaningfully with an elder both living here and using Gadigal philosophy and language.

Canoe and other harbour discoveries.

Performance, workshops and education.

Canoe and other harbour discoveries.

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Hugely popular with locals and tourists, Uncle Mark Merriman makes the spirits new with his Koori Canoe. Available for 1-6 people and for 2hr/half/full day. We also organise larger tours and whale watching on tall ships or old harbour ferries.

Performance, workshops and education.

Performance, workshops and education.

Performance, workshops and education.

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Sydney Harbour Elder's student engagement delights both non-Indigenous and Indigenous school kids with dance, tool and spear-making (and optional throwing!) workshops. Coming soon well will be offering traditional canoe making also.

Matt Poll B.A.

Mike Butler J.D. B.Eng.

Performance, workshops and education.

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Matt Poll has worked in Museums and Art Galleries for a nearly 20 years, for the past 7 years Matt has worked as the Assistant Curator of the Macleay Museum Indigenous Heritage Collections as well as being the University of Sydney Repatriation Project Officer. 


Matt has previously worked as the Artistic Director of Boomalli Aboriginal artists cooperative as well as other positions at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Wollongong City Gallery. Matt has also worked as the University of Sydney Repatriation project officer since 2009. Matts current masters by research project seeks to further develop methods of understanding the ways contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island artists have used Museum collections, historic records and archival materials in the reconstruction of cultural identities, exploring how visual artists, in particular, have developed auto-ethnographic methods of engaging with historical information outside of academic frameworks. https://www.linkedin.com/in/matt-poll-57790094/

Mike Butler J.D. B.Eng.

Mike Butler J.D. B.Eng.

Mike Butler J.D. B.Eng.

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Mike Butler has been connecting with indigenous communities for nearly 25 years in places including PNG, NZ and Vanuatu as well as Australian ATSI groups. He is a legal and communications professional with an engineering background and came to Sydney Harbour from Queensland when he was 7. His Aboriginal blood is on his mother's mother's side from Central Queensland.


Mike has recently completed the highly regarded Juris Doctor of Law at the University of Sydney. Since then he has worked alongside Aboriginal businesses and groups in the NT, Qld and NSW in development, land and compensation claims as well governance, commercial legals and management. He is a trained and accredited mediator and is a known facilitator in his communities. https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-butler-9443244/

Professional services.

Mike Butler J.D. B.Eng.

Mike Butler J.D. B.Eng.

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Sydney Harbour Elder is being increasingly being engaged to facilitate Indigenous projects and research or to conduct cultural competence training. 


The University of Sydney, UTS, the NSW Director of Public Prosecution, Parramatta Gaol redevelopment and $1b Westmead hospital redevelopment have all recently employed us for our local knowledge, our learned skills and ideas as well as a reliable pathway for connecting with the best Indigenous people or knowledge available. 

Indigenous culture and knowledge done properly

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Your Welcome to Our Country

Sydney Harbour Elder is a naturally better way of bringing the proper Aboriginal presence to a place where it looks like it had long disappeared because it's getting the Aboriginal people who are living on Sydney Harbour today to prove that we never left it.

Our goal to make it easier for businesses and people wanting to connect with Aboriginal culture and spirits past and in more authentic and meaningful Indigenous experiences for all.

 Connection to country is key for us. Our welcomes to country are only  done by local elders with particular knowledge to that part of Sydney. Our cultural educators enthral with lived, inherited and learned expertise and our track record of welcoming and working with performers from across Australia gives greater options for all budgets, 

Start a conversation with Sydney Harbour Elder today on 0405 170778 to see how we can make your next Indigenous encounter unforgettable.


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Unforgettable Harbour Experiences and Unique Harbour Welcomes.

Sydney Harbour Elder began when Pyrmont elder Mark Merriman started taking one person at a time in a Koori canoe to show the harbour through our eyes. Today we can now bring up 80 people onto the water for sunset cruises, whale watching, educational tours, our unique Aboriginal harbour welcomes on water and something else of your choice.

We've access to beautifully restored historical harbour vessels, Aboriginal guides who know every knook and cranny of our harbour and special permission to go where other commercial boats cannot. We can help plan and manage your whole harbour experience or simply be part of your harbour idea. Either way Sydney Harbour Elder will get you seeing the harbour very differently.

Cost: $350/600 half-day/full-day 1-2 people. For 3 people or more rates start at $30/$50p.p. half-day/full-day.

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Land tours, filming, education and research

Discover the hidden and Aboriginal histories of Pyrmont and Sydney Harbour with our excellent land tours. Sydney Harbour Elder has a wealth of stories and knowledge, many that you won't hear anywhere else. Sydney Harbour Elder's student engagement program delight both non-Indigenous and Indigenous school kids with tool and spear making (and optional throwing!) workshops. Sydney Harbour Elder can also be engaged for research. The University of Sydney, UTS and Parramatta Gaol redevelopment have employed us for knowledge on Aboriginal life around Sydney Harbour and institutionalisation of Indigenous people by the state as well as the importance and revival of Indigenous culture for all Australians.