The first stage of a very exciting project that aims to turn the growing of native plant species on country into a sustainable Aboriginal managed agriculture business was recently completed.

The Wanggalili project is an innovative initiative that seeks to establish a sustainable agribusiness, utilising local knowledge to grow and harvest plants for use in a range of commercial applications.

Creating sustainable roles for local Aboriginal people working on-country is part of the vision of this project and the team involved is committed to exploring ideas and partnership opportunities to realise it.

The City has provided substantial funding to support project managers Yurra Pty Ltd and project partners Juluwarlu Aboriginal Corporation, Woollahra Group Pty Ltd, BBI Group Pty Ltd, Pilbara Development Commission, Sahara Forest Project and Abundance Produce Australia to deliver stage one.

Stage one of the project included seed collection, training for traditional owners and cultivation and propagation trials. The plants produced as a result have now been planted at both the Ganalili Centre in Roebourne and in the Ngurrawaana community.

Indigenous people have been utilising local flora for food, medicinal and other purposes since time immemorial and the Wanggalili project aims to support and disseminate this traditional knowledge while enabling development of an indigenous run and owned agribusiness.

Apart from providing employment for local people, the use of native plants for both food and medicinal purposes may one day also enable a sustainable export business that could bring in substantial extra income for the owners.

So this is a very exciting initiative that may have wide ranging and long term benefits for Aboriginal communities across the Pilbara.

I am excited to see what the future holds with stage two of Wanggalili currently under development.