The Buluwai Collective is the name of an informal grouping of descendants of the people who once owned, and were owned by, the land known as Buluwai Country, situated in the hills above the present-day city of Cairns.  The Buluwai Collective also includes those who have been adopted by the country and its descendants.

We have an adoption policy, that everyone fails to acknowledge: when you are in certain areas of the country you adopt the law of that country. Like my Dad says, he adopted this other modern saying, When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Well its the same here. When in Buluwai do as the Buluwai do; when in Djabugay, do as the Djabugay do; when you are in a neighbours country, you do as they do. [extract of interview with Willie Brim, Jan 2010]

The Buluwai Collective is also a platform for the telling of the history of all its neighbouring tribes. All these tribes living in close connection with the Buluwai, and each other, and they, and their stories, are equally as important. These nieghboruing tribes are the: Yrrgandyji, Yidinyji, Djabugai, Gugganyji, Ngadjon, Manu, Majanyji, Wanyurr, Barbaram,

The Buluwai Collective is concerned with collecting as much as possible of the disparate information that exists regarding Buluwai country and the surrounding area together onto this website. Thus an archive of information will be created, as well as a recourse for those interesting in discovering the predominantly hidden history of this region.

We aim to challenge the present-day assumption and prejudices. We believe that knowledge and understanding of the Indigenous past transforms the way one looks at modern society. We believe that modern society is wrong in very many ways and we think things are getting worse.

The whole point of anything done in pre-colonised Australia was to reproduce the human community in which the people lived. The capital of that society (and any pre-civilization society) was the human being. It was the human being that was recreated and reproduced. In modern society we live in an economy which only reproduces humans as a bi-product. What is intended to be recreated and reproduced now is wealth. Modern society is geared to recreate the wealth of individuals and corporations. Most other humans play only a part in this process, their part is equal to the materials or land used.  Just like oil or land, most humans are now a commodity to be used in the endless re-creation of profit and wealth

The world is a very different place to what it was before the rise on money, the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few, and nations. We have all been dispossessed. We have all been separated from the land. What has happened recently to the first occupants of Australia happened before, in similar or different ways, to all the people of the world. Who should own the world? We all should. It was once the land of our ancestors, people who lived in human communities which existed to recreate and reproduce human beings. The only meaningful thing left of us to do now is to get our world back; to go back home.

Read Willie Brim’s Message Stick to the people of Buluwai country

We wish to advise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visitors that this website and links may contain images and voices of people who are deceased. Buluwai Indigenous Corporation (BIC) respectfully acknowledges the First Peoples’ and Custodians of the lands, waters and seas on which we work and live.
We honour our Elders, past, present and emerging.

in relation to Bulway, Buluwai, Bulwai, Buluwandji
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Below left is a map from the 1930’s of the tribal boundaries of the various groups which lived in the Cairns region. This map is a far truer representation, of specific cultural and geographic divisions which were in existence before Colonisation, than the language boundary map which is currently disseminated by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).

There is an urgent need to prevent the rich and specific cultural and historical differences which made up the human landscape of Australia, before the European invasion, being lost to us.
Bulwai Country (Buluwanydji) is written as Buluwai.
From: Cairns and Hinterland Road Map with Tindale Notations. NB Tindale 1938-72. S A Museum Tindale Collection