Albany elder Joey Williams wants to stop hikers going buff on Bluff Knoll

Saskia AdystiThe West Australian
VideoWA Indigenous elder and tour guide Joey Williams says the craze is 'disrespectful'.

Albany elder Joey Williams wants to end the “Buff on the Bluff” social media craze, where hikers take nude photos of themselves on top of Bluff Knoll.

The trend has taken off on Instagram and Facebook in recent years, with hikers celebrating reaching the 1090 metre summit with a naked or topless photo.

Mr Williams said it was time for the ritual to stop.

“I just think it’s disrespectful – we want to keep places like that sacred to our people,” he said.

“Fair enough that our people got around years ago with no clothes on.

“But nowadays we live in a new millennium and it’s about respect and protection of our sacred country.”

The Minang elder who runs an Indigenous tourism business in Albany, said he also preferred tourists didn’t climb the peak.

He said he had only climbed the peak once when he was a teenager and now encourage his tour groups to enjoy the Bluff Knoll scenery from the viewing platform.

He agrees with the elders in Uluru who rallied to ban tourists from climbing the sacred rock in the Northern Territory.

“I just like people to go there, I can’t stop people from climbing it” he said.

“I agree with the elders in Uluru, it’s the same sentiment as what I’m trying to project.

“We’ve already been taken from our country – through the stolen generation – taken away and not being able to live our proper way.

“So we need to be able to protect our sacred land and have some ownership.”

The Indigenous elder said Bluff Knoll was also known as Bular Mial, which means many eyes.

He said that the Noongar spirits go back to Bular Mial, which is why he refused to climb it.

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