BG Side

Nidja Koora Kaatajin

Our History

“I started Maar Koodjal in 2008, evolving out of a recognition that there was little-to-no Aboriginal culture being taught in schools for my kids and for any Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth. I saw a need to address this gaping hole in the education system, and Maar Koodjal was formed to help maintain a long withstanding tradition of passing on culture to our children.”  Dennis Simmons CEO Maar Koodjal.

As work started in schools, it became further evident that this huge gap in cultural knowledge extended to community and corporate spaces.

The need for cultural knowledge and information clearly extends well beyond the Aboriginal community. Australia was settled by way of – “Terra Nullius” – as uninhabited land, essentially erasing the very existence of the Aboriginal people. The ramifications of this is that non-Aboriginal Australians of up to five generations know very little (or nothing) about Aboriginal people that have occupied this country for 50,000 years.

Dennis Smoking Ceremony IMG 2794There continues to be a lack in Aboriginal cultural educators to meet such vast needs. Dennis Simmons recognised the importance in not only providing cultural education, but also in mentoring young Aboriginal people to become the next generation of cultural educators.

Since its inception, Maar Koodjal has experienced tremendous growth and expansion. Today the organisation is educating, healing and connecting with thousands of Aboriginal youth, Elders, traditional Wadjella work settings and the broader community.

From humble beginnings, Maar Koodjal is now acting in a time where there is more demand and recognised need for cultural education than ever. Guided by the wisdom contained within the oldest existing culture on the planet, Maar Koodjal sees its partnerships, projects and teachings as foundational in healing our current rifts, and shaping generations to come.