Tony Abbott, Australia's Prime Minister, has moved into a tent in a far-flung stretch of Outback bushland to govern the nation for a week from a tiny Aboriginal community.
In an unprecedented move by an Australian leader, whose usual residence is a stately 1920s house in Canberra, Abbott has shifted the seat of government to the outskirts of Yirrkala, a remote Aboriginal township in Arnhem Land, northern Australia with a population of 843.
He will govern from a canvas tent - complete with secure phone and video lines for Cabinet meetings and calls to international leaders - and has brought with him some of the nation's top civil servants, who are also staying in tents.
After landing by plane on a dusty red dirt tarmac, Abbott, looking somewhat bewildered and bemused, was given an official "welcome to country" ceremony by a group of red-skirted Aborigines smeared from head to toe in white clay; they beat sticks, chanted, leapt and danced.
"It is good to be back in this part of the world," Abbott said.
The unusual visit is not out of character for Abbott, 56. His various feats as an MP and prime minister include several 600-mile bicycle rides, working as a rural firefighter and beach lifeguard, a 14-hour iron man contest, and a 36-hour bout of non-stop election campaigning in 2010, his first contest as opposition leader.
The visit is also part of Abbott's attempt to address the plight of the nation's Aborigines, who have far higher rates of infant mortality, disease, imprisonment and poverty.
As an MP, Abbott frequently stayed in Aboriginal communities and he promised that if elected he would spend a week each year ruling from a remote indigenous township.
"For an entire week, Aboriginal people will have my full focus and attention as prime minister," he said.
Abbott will also hold discussions this week on his plan for a nationwide referendum to change the constitution to recognise Aborigines as the nation's first peoples.
But he has indicated that any such symbolic gestures of reconciliation should be accompanied by moves to improve the economic well-being of Australia's 700,000-odd Aborigines.
Bawuli Marika, 44, a teacher who took part in the welcome celebrations, said the ceremonial chant recounted the arrival of two ancient creatures who came ashore in a canoe and gave names to the animals and trees. "It is good that he came here to learn our culture. It is a big thing. It is a happy thing," she said.