Australia-first AR app Ngarandi brings Aboriginal stories to life

Paige Murphy
By Paige Murphy | 28 June 2019

An Australia-first augmented reality app Ngarandi, which is bringing cities to life through the stories of Aboriginal history, is being released in the lead up to NAIDOC Week next month.

The app is a collaboration between Indigenous specialist agency Cox Inall Ridgeway and digital agency Isobar Australia, incubated by Dentsu Aegis Network’s (DAN) Innovation Council.

It was created in response to findings from Indigenous Business Australia which revealed a decline in participation in Indigenous tourism experiences as a result of individual’s inability to find the appropriate information and a belief that in metropolitan regions, these experiences simply do not exist.

Voiced by former chairman of Indigenous Tourism Australia, Dr. Aden Ridgeway, Ngarandi presents two gamified experiences derived from the stories of the Eora people, the traditional owners of the areas around Sydney.

"This app is the first step in allowing us to gain a better understanding and insights into the stories and cultures of a 60,000 year old tradition of Aboriginal peoples," Ridgeway says.

"It does this by giving us a new way to access information and feel a sense of having experienced something unique and different and quintessentially Australian. From these first steps into our past, we activate the memories of the past and connect to these as real day, life experiences."

The two experiences include Build a Nawi, experience the craft of creating a traditional "Nawi" canoe and Eora Fisherwomen, a game where you catch fish and facts about daily life for the Eora people.

The 2019 NAIDOC theme is Voice, Treaty, Truth. Part of the focus seeks to raise the prominence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s truths, including those related to their history.

The Ngarandi app does this through capturing Aboriginal stories from pre-colonial Australia and making them available to broader audiences that wouldn't have access to them.

The team behind Ngarandi hope that the strength of these stories will propel the technology to be adapted to capture more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories from across the country.

Sydney Living Museums is a pilot partner of the Ngarandi launch for NAIDOC 2019 and as part of their annual NAIDOC event, members of the public are invited to experience this Australian-first app firsthand on Sunday 14 July at Rouse Hill House and Farm.

The Ngarandi app will be available for download from the app store.

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

comments powered by Disqus