The remote Northern Territory Aboriginal community of Jilkminggan has been overwhelmed with national support as a social media post calling for donations received over 25,000 shares.
The clothing drive, initiated by a not-for-profit organisation Enterprise Learning Projects (ELP), based in Katherine NT, is part of a long-term vision to support the development of micro-enterprise and economic empowerment and in remote Aboriginal communities.
It was 2013, and Samara Billy was showing off her community to representatives from Indigenous business facilitator Enterprise Learning Projects (ELP). The community of Minyerri was keen to start an arts centre, but in doing so, stumbled upon an opportunity to bring one of their traditions to the tea market.
"I took them out bush, and we picked a bit of Gulbarn and I told them how we use it," Ms Billy said, outside the now up-and-running arts centre.
Minyerri are currently exploring new business ideas with support from Enterprise Learning Projects (ELP) in partnership with the Smith Family under the Katherine Region Communities for Children initiative, funded by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.
Gulbarn tea is a fragrant herbal tea used as a traditional medicine by the people of Minyerri to cure coughs, colds and respiratory congestion. The delicious healthy tea is hand harvested, dried and packaged in Minyerri community located within the Hodgson Downs cattle station 270kms south-east of Katherine.
Samara Billy is a key Minyerri community member interested in growing the enterprise “Some people call Minyerri Gulbarn-Land, we have so much of it growing here” she says. Samara has recently graduated with a Certificate II Business and will be attending the 6th Indigenous Economic Development Forum in Alice Springs in October. The forum will provide an opportunity for participants like Samara to meet with other Indigenous entrepreneurs, share stories and ideas.
It is early days for the enterprise working on processes, packaging and price point for the tea. They conducted market research activity in the community holding a Gulbarn tea tasting evening at the local Minyerri Community teachers house.
“The tasters really enjoyed the taste of the tea and commented on the delicious fragrant smell as it was boiling on the stove, the tea was a hit!.” states Natalie Wells ELP’s Community Builder.
ELP will use social media to provide updates of the progress of the project so ensure you follow us on Facebook and share the journey with us!