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Indigenous Australians: a Culturally Resonant, Optimistic and Secure Healthy Food Future.

A community led prosperous, sustainable and affordable healthy food and water supply on remote Indigenous Australian owned land.

Photo of Josephine Gwynn
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Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, University of Sydney

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Researcher Institution

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

Charles Perkins Centre University of Sydney (Researcher Institution) Sydney Food and Nutrition Network University of Sydney (Researcher Institution) Department of Education (Government) Training and Further Education (TAFE) education provider (Government) Aboriginal Land Councils (small NGO) Aboriginal Medical Services (small NGO) Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of New South Wales (large NGO)

Website of Legally Registered Entity

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 3-10 years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?


Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?


Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

North Western Plains of the state of New South Wales Australia. This area covers 98,574 square kilometres.

What country is your selected Place located in?


Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.


This Place has 8 years of established collaborations with the Poche Centre. These began in 2010 with requests from the Indigenous community to address children’s poor oral health. The relationship consolidated with the success of this initial work in schools and continued to develop in response to community requests for other programs and services. Whilst the Poche Centre is located in Sydney much of its work is delivered in Indigenous communities in regional and remote areas by Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff working out of Sydney or living locally. Together the Poche centre and communities have co-created oral health services, built local workforce capacity (since 2013 supporting a full-time oral health service involving 4-6 local staff) and co-designed research.


High levels of sugary drink consumption by children is a key contributor to poor oral health. The Poche Centre collaboration installed water fountains in 4 communities and 6 schools to support access to cool filtered palatable water for the first time in communities with a long history of a poor quality (odour, taste, colour), unsafe and unreliable water supply. Schools banned sugary drinks and supported a water drinking program. Building on this work, one year ago the Poche Centre commenced a nutrition program to build nutrition workforce capacity and deliver a community created nutrition program.


The lead for this application has worked with Indigenous communities in Australia for over 25 years and has extensive experience building relationships with New South Wales (NSW) communities around food and nutrition. The crises in food security for Indigenous Australians particularly in remote and outer regional areas is unacceptable in a country such as Australia, and Dr Gwynn is committed to advocating for change and to finding ways to address food security.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.


The remote North West region of New South Wales (NSW) has a population of 186,812 of which 10.1% are Indigenous, more than 3 times the national proportion. The average maximum temperatures range between 28 to 40 degrees and over. This Place is currently experiencing earlier onset and severe drought. The local rivers are dry or degraded and unsafe for the traditional community activities of swimming and fishing. The topography of this sparsely populated region is dominated by a plateau of hills and plains with scattered rocky ridges. Farming activities now include beef cattle production, wheat and broadacre crops. Irrigated cotton (introduced) production in this area contributes to 64% of the states total production. Seasonally available root vegetables, grains, meat and fish traditionally served as important food sources. However removal from traditional land and forced resettlement (weblink attached) of Indigenous communities resulted in dependence on food supply and a poor diet which typically largely included white flour, and sugar. Maintaining a traditional diet has not been possible for most. Current diet is characterised by reliance on foods from fast food outlets.

The population have faced a history of violent colonisation (weblink attached) and removal from traditional lands. This brought lasting consequences including marginalisation, financial dependence, and overall poorer life-long health and wellbeing outcomes. Speaking a traditional Indigenous language was banned by colonial governments, and many languages were lost.


The impact of these actions endure today with many social challenges existing for communities exacerbated by suspicion of government services, and experiences of racism from the broader Australian society. The impact is most keenly apparent in the disproportionately high suicide rates that occur in Indigenous communities, at over 3 times the rate of Non-Indigenous communities. In this Place there are low levels of unemployment with only around 23% of the community employed full-time, and low high school completion rates with only 24% completing the final grade of high school.  

Many Indigenous communities in this Place do not have food outlets,  and are reliant on larger nearby towns for access to foods. Indigenous communities in this Place have limited or no access to public transport. Reliance on private transport modes is problematic as not every family has a vehicle nor funds to afford the cost of petrol on a regular basis.

Indigenous communities’ traditional view of food is holistic and people share a unique connection to country. Indigenous people in Australia hold over 60,000 years of knowledge and experience in caring for country.


 To respect Indigenous communities’ cultural beliefs, the inclusion of visual material of Indigenous people and reference to names and places will not be used in this initial application.

Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.


HIGHER RATES OF FOOD INSECURITY: Indigenous communities face higher rates of food insecurity than non-Indigenous counterparts (22% compared with 4%). There is no Indigenous Nutrition workforce in Australia.

Indigenous communities have little to no input into water policies and actions on their country. Water supply and safety is not trusted. There exists a long history of compromised availability and quality, and historical instances of deliberate poisoning by the early colonisers. Large number of fish kills have occurred recently including over 1 million in one river at one location last summer. For children, the water supply (rivers and creeks) has become unfit (or unavailable) as a key site for play.

DIET-RELATED CHRONIC DISEASES are the major contributors to the substantial ‘gap’ in health.  Dietary factors alone contribute to overall disease burden at over 3 times the rate than for non-Indigenous Australians and at a much younger age. The difference in mortality rates between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples is among the highest worldwide, with life expectancy being 10 years younger for Indigenous people.

RACISM is a daily experience for Indigenous Australians and impacts significantly on mental health and physical wellbeing. One elder recently commented in a discussion on nutrition programs in her community ‘… we are usually told what to do….’.

CLIMATE CHANGE. This decade is predicted to be the driest and hottest on record.  In the near future the average temperature for this Place is projected to have a 2.2 degree Celsius increase, a significant warming trend. The impact of this will be compounded by a 10% reduction in average rainfall further risking environmental degradation across all agricultural processes.

ACCESS TO THE DIGITAL WORLD. This Place has unreliable internet and mobile (cell) phone access and infrastructure. 30.9% of the overall population in this Place report they have no internet connection. Indigenous communities share digital resources if available and often do not have access to computers or internet.


CLIMATE CHANGE: The consequences of an environment severely challenged by non-Indigenous land management practices are now magnified by climate change. Climate challenges will remain in 2050 unless there is a shift to stronger national leadership and support for local communities to act

WATER SUPPLY and FOOD ENVIRONMENT.  A degraded and insufficient water supply will make living on this land untenable. The food environment will be inhospitable and food availability entirely reliant on distant sources and costly transport systems.

HEALTH:  The impacts of the high burden of poor health in 2020 are intergenerational and will not have been mitigated by 2050.

RACISM: Addressing racism is a priority, requires intergenerational change and the remnants of its health impacts are likely to still exist in 2050.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

A HEALTHY FOOD FUTURE GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE will be established, informed by a successful model implemented by the Team Leader in collaboration with Indigenous communities previously (see attachment). This will build from the relationships and collaborations which have existed between the Poche Centre and Land Councils since 2010. Co-creation will ensure Indigenous leadership, governance and management is actioned. This is critical to developing a culturally appropriate model.

The structure will include: a dedicated Local Indigenous Food Vision advisory group reporting to the Council; the employment of local ‘influencers’ (likely to be community elders) to work with the community in support of the vision; and external experts as required.

CAPACITY BUILDING through established TAFE, schools and Poche partnerships with Land Councils and guided by community elders is central to the success of this VISION and builds on the work of all stakeholders to date including for: oral health therapists; traditional agricultural skills; and Indigenous Allied Health Assistants (nutrition). Skills in growing and harvesting of native grain /foods, management and business, advocacy, infrastructure support and nutrition will be further consolidated. Building local Indigenous capacity to manage the food system in the right cultural way using traditional knowledges is a key strategy to respond to climate and other changes, and to enable sustainable land management.


WATER SUPPLY and FOOD ENVIRONMENT challenges will be addressed by building whole of community Nutrition knowledge (Poche and schools stake holders) and harnessing traditional food knowledge (all stake holders). Key strategies identified through community ‘yarn-ups’ (discussions) include: use of local facilities to build self-efficacy in food preparation skills and in providing healthy food options once a week; Revegetation and growing grain on Land Council land; and revival and Implementation of local land management knowledge (TAFE and Land council stakeholders).  

ACCESS TO THE DIGITAL WORLD and RELIABLE POWER SUPPLY: Through the actions of the governance structure described above, the community will source experts to guide the implementation of innovations in support of improved digital access for example inDigiMob, an Indigenous led organisation focusing on improving digital inclusion who are partnering with the largest Australian provider (see weblink attachment). Solar power initiatives are supported by Federal and State governments, and local capacity to install and maintain the infrastructure will be built through local TAFE collaborations (stakeholder) using existing training modules, and leveraging the services of local Indigenous employment organisations.  

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

ACCESS TO A RELIABLE CULTURALLY RESONANT HEALTHY FOOD SUPPLY:  In 2050 the children and grandchildren of 2020 community members will have access to a reliable culturally resonant healthy food supply that is sufficient for people to be leading healthy and happy lives with optimism for the future. The creation of the food supply will also provide workforce solutions and community revenue through entrepreneurial opportunities.  

Indigenous communities from this place will develop and lead the strategies required to achieve this Vision.

LIFE EXPECTANCY ON PAR WITH OTHER AUSTRALIANS:  Children and grandchildren of current community members will have a life expectancy on par with other Australians, will not be surrounded by the grief of early deaths of family and friends, will live healthy lives with the same potential for an optimistic future as other Australians, and will live in an inclusive society which values and honours Indigenous culture. Children and grandchildren will enthusiastically embrace the future as strong proud people confident in their capacity to lead Australia forward.

The Place will have sustainable and local food supply, built upon a skilled workforce fully employed. The supply will utilise traditional knowledge to provide revenue, therefore drawing on the past to inform a healthier future for community.

INFRASTRUCTURE: This Place will have reliable sources of: SOLAR POWER to support all the needs of the community; FAST POWERFUL INTERNET SERVICE to support new technologies and locally based innovations around food; and WATER for leisure, consumption, personal care and food harvest (including fish).

TRADITIONAL FOOD PRODUCTION AND LAND AND FIRE MANAGEMENT WILL HAVE BEEN REINSTATED: Government policy will have prioritised the availability of a healthy food supply for this Place, the workforce to sustain it, innovation to maintain it, a cost effective sustainable power supply and a water system which nourishes the community and the food supply.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

Achieving the VISION for this Place requires that a complex interwoven system be in place. Indigenous traditions, leadership and authority will exist across the food system and be central to local food provision strategies.

This VISION is that of a transitional step between full dependency on largely unhealthy food options and food insecurity, and a community-led food system with a strong focus on production of traditional foods which flourish in the arid environment and provide employment and income to the local community. This VISION is a transformative MODEL for other Australian Indigenous communities to adapt locally and will support communities to reach food security.  Working up this model will have positive national remote area food systems reverberations.


The local Food Vision Advisory group will be established and have the authority and capacity to drive local action. This group is at the core of local success, and builds on established collaborations between the Poche Centre, schools, TAFE and the Indigenous community. The Advisory group will have access to and will manage experts online and in Place to advise and support technical innovations around power, internet capacity, food production, and a sustainable water supply.

Building Indigenous workforce capacity at each stage of the food production and supply is fundamental to the sustainability of this VISION and will build on the work of established community partners in this VISION such as the Poche Centre, Schools and TAFE education providers.

Schools, the Poche centre and the communities will continue their partnership and build sustainable food and nutrition programs for children and families which respond to changing local needs. This partnership will guide local provision of healthier food options by harnessing the skills of dedicated nutrition workers who respond to and understand community needs.

A quality water supply will exist which tastes and smells good, be available, sustainable and generate health and wellbeing for the communities. Sustaining this supply may inspire a local search for innovative approaches to replicate a healthy river in which children will be able to play in the hot summer months and aquaculture could be re-established as a component of land management and traditional food production. Water will be the drink of choice and build on initiatives by the Poche Centre in partnership with Aboriginal Land Councils, schools and Local Government to install water fountains providing cool, palatable and filtered water in accessible community locations.

This VISION will enable entrepreneurial opportunities to emerge for communities. Indigenous traditional foods and medicine are starting to emerge as desirable to the broader diverse Australian population. The establishment of community led Native seed production will enable the communities to sell an increasingly prized commodity (currently at $90/kilo), providing a robust income source to the communities. An opportunity to develop innovative harvesting methods appropriate for traditional grain may emerge to meet the need. Currently seeds have evolved over 10’s of 1000’s of years and require an intensive process of hand milling. Whilst this process may employ people, there may be an opportunity to develop an innovative mechanical method of harvesting / milling native grains to ensure sufficient quantities are produced for consumption and sale at sufficiently profitable scale.

National and multinational companies which drive the food supply system will see viable business opportunities in establishing local consumer partnerships for market elsewhere as well as locally. This approach will enable consumers to choose healthy foods that resonate culturally, are affordable and are appealing.

A national Tourist market with an increasing interest in Indigenous culture and food, and its connection to and management of the country may thrive.  TAFE and University (stakeholders) pilot work currently underway in partnership with some communities to develop native vegetation and agriculture is also conceiving a plan to develop adjacent regional and remote tourism opportunities such as cultural walks for tourists who  stay in a larger nearby town. We envision that Traditional teas and other products based on native foods production will be marketable in this Place as they are starting to be in a few other communities elsewhere in Australia.


Communities will have access to reliable, low cost, reliable and sustainable solar power to support the food production and supply system, and to improve the quality of day to day life. They will also have reliable and affordable access to the Digital World. The stakeholder partnership with the Land Councils will lead the sourcing of people and infrastructure support to compliment the TAFE trained skilled local workforce as required.



Elders in Indigenous communities associate the poor health of their people with the loss of traditional land and food. Local traditional foods will be cultivated initially on Indigenous Land Council owned land, their production driven by a growth in community skill base (capacity building) in traditional Indigenous agricultural and land management practices. This will build from current collaborations between the Land Councils and TAFE and the University sector. Traditional skills in land management and food production were eroded in most communities as a result of the processes of colonisation. Reviving these (building on work currently underway in partnership with TAFE and the University of Sydney) to support the production and availability of local traditional food is a key component of a healthy secure food future and will recognise the significance of traditional land management and agricultural practices to the health and wellbeing of the community.

Key organisations have shown an interest in commercialising the cultivation of native agriculture such as kangaroo grass and murrnong (a native tubor), with the Aboriginal Land and Sea Council looking to upscale infrastructure in this area. Native grains and plants are far better suited for the Australian climate, having the capacity to withstand droughts and high temperatures. Indigenous-led agricultural initiatives have the capacity to transform food systems into sustainable structures that sufficiently meet the needs of whole communities. Traditional knowledge will be valued and integrated with the local food system.

Traditional fire management skills will be harnessed to support sustainable land management and food production. This approach is already demonstrating success in one of the communities in this Place (weblink attached). Knowing and reading the country is a core cultural value and skill which will be harnessed to support this Indigenous community led Food Vision.

THIS VISION will focus on building sustainable local supply of traditional foods,  capacity to provide healthier food options in communities, provision of a safe sustainable water supply, and a local food, nutrition, agricultural and infrastructure support workforce. It will also enable a revenue stream to contribute to financial independence for the community.  At this VISION’s core is Indigenous community governance and leadership, with actions based on long term established and productive stakeholder partnerships. These proud communities will experience reduced food insecurity and increased capacity to deliver a culturally resonant and healthful food future.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Colleague

Describe how your Vision developed over the course of the Refinement Phase.

We established weekly Zoom meetings with a core group of stakeholders to build the Vision, attend and exchange thoughts on the support webinars, and strengthen connections with collaborators of our Food System. We have consulted with partnering academics, Technical and Further Education (TAFE) teachers, members of the Indigenous community, policy stakeholders and digital tech specialists over phone and Zoom conferences. In these conversations we have held mini SWOT analysis to road test ideas for the Vision which will need further attention once the COVID-19 restrictions have lifted and we are able to visit this Place again. Importantly, these communities have been inaccessible since mid-March as they are particularly vulnerable. This has impacted our ability for direct action in establishing and refining plans ‘on the ground’ but has afforded us the opportunity to expand our network, dig into the data and talk out strategies at concept level with relevant experts.

Please provide the names of all organizations you meaningfully partnered with to develop this latest version of your Vision (they contributed at least 10 hours of time to the Vision development during the Refinement Phase).

During this phase we have partnered with the following organisations: 

  • Technical And Further Education (TAFE) New South Wales (NSW) DIGITAL.
  • TAFE NSW Moree.
  • TAFE NSW Boggabilla.
  • Menzies School of Health Policy, University of Sydney.  
  • Plant Breeding Institute, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney.
  • School of Geosciences University of Sydney
  • Boggabilla Public School NSW.
  • Toomelah Primary School NSW.
  • Poche Oral Health Team, Boggabilla NSW.

Describe the specific steps you took during the Refinement phase to include different stakeholders to develop your Vision, including a description (age, profile, and total number) of the stakeholders engaged, and how you engaged with each.

During this phase we have consulted with 16 stakeholders as follows:

TAFE digital: Teacher and expert in nutrition who has taught many people from the region where this Place is located. She is passionate about community nutrition and we emailed and spoke by phone to design and plan workshops that we will deliver in this Place.

TAFE Moree: Teacher and expert in Native grains in this Place (including a current project) and in water management systems. We emailed, spoke by satellite phone and videolink to test ideas on the Native grains milestone, water systems and 2050 vision

TAFE Boggabilla: TAFE services co-ordinator in this Place and community member. TAFE programs advisory and community navigator. We emailed to liaise regarding pragmatics of workshop delivery in this Place.

Menzies School of Health Policy, University of Sydney: Research Associate expert in food security and building healthy and sustainable food systems globally with a focus on low income settings. We emailed and spoke by phone and Zoom to consider the food system map, diet theme and policy impact.

Plant Breeding Institute, University of Sydney (Narrabri Campus northern NSW): Agricultural Scientist and expert in Native grains and related technology. We emailed and spoke by phone to test ideas on the Native grains milestone, and on technology implications.

Department of Education schools in this Place: Principal’s, Head Teachers and Indigenous liason officer contacted by phone to consider the schools partnership and implications.

Poche Oral Health Team located in this Place: The team communicated by phone and email to gauge community experience over the time of COVID19 and contribute to the Food Vision Proposal. 

Indigenous leader and community member: Manager state-wide research project University of Sydney examining Indigenous workforce retention issues. We emailed and met by Zoom to envision the future for his community in 2050 , ‘yarn’ about the current food system and the Food Vision proposal.

What signals and trends did you draw from to inform your Vision? Please provide data or examples that back up each signal or trend.

Please see Signals and Trends described by relevant theme.


  • Increased acceptance of Indigenous Oral history as a significant contributor to knowledge about the sea and land of Australia. Science is starting to support Aboriginal oral history regarding historic climate events, for example the water level rise at the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland 1000’s of years ago as recorded in the oral history and ceremony of the Yarrabah people from the area. (Reference list attached: 1, 2, 3).
  • Acknowledgement that Indigenous cultural knowledge regarding the use of fire (‘cultural burning’) to prevent catastrophic fire events in Australia, such as occurred in 2019/20, and manage biodiversity has lessons for current day land management in Australia. (Reference list attached: 4, 5).
  • Decreased rain and Increased temperatures:  Australian droughts are the primary contributor to elevated food prices, particularly impacting fruit and vegetables. The Heat Exposure Vulnerability Index for Australia was high between 1990 and 2007. (Reference list attached: 6)


  • High intakes of energy dense nutrient poor food exist amongst Indigenous communities including in this Place. (Reference list attached: 7, 8).
  • Improvements to water supply planned for this Place. (Reference list attached: 9)
  • Widespread society interest in Traditional foods as 'Australian' food is apparent e.g condiments (wattle seed; bush tomatoes), at restaurants (bush tomatoes; finger limes), in food outlets (Crocodile and Kangaroo).
  • A surging interest in Native grains is apparent across Australia, with enterprises such as Black Duck foods being established. (Reference list attached: 10).
  • Concern about high levels of food insecurity with a Federal Government remote food inquiry announced 21st May 2020. (Reference list attached: 11)
  •  Promising approaches to designing a healthy food system with Indigenous communities were identified. (Reference list attached: 7, 12). These included: 
  •      Building community capacity knowledge and skill.
  •      Incorporating traditional nutrition knowledge and skills.
  •      Engaging food retailers and outlets.


Indigenous Intellectual Property rights and Food sovereignty are part of public discourse in 2020. (Reference list attached: 13, 14). This signalled a shift as Indigenous communities assert authority over their culture and knowledge.


Flour milled from Native seeds is now in high demand however technology is yet to be available to mill the seeds (evolved for hand milling) appropriately for supply needs. (Reference list attached: 10).

Government has recently committed funding for a highway upgrade joining this Place to key regional centre. This will encourage economic development and signals the growing interest of government bodies to support development of this Place. (Reference list attached: 15).

Describe a “Day in the Life” of a key food system actor within your food system in 2050 (e.g., farmer, chef, supply chain actor, food policy actor, etc.).

I live in my community with access to safe and reliable running water at home, food outlets that retail healthy food options, and ‘Bush Tucker’ that grows freely in my backyard (as it is adapted to climate conditions in the region). Knowledge about ‘Bush Tucker’ is strong and thriving throughout the community once more, and young people know about the medicinal properties of these foods.

The first thing I do when I wake is collect Euraba bush leaves and berries from the garden to boil up as tea, and then head inside to cook up a good breakfast.

I drive into work on the ‘new road’. It’s great to see a bus service running these days. I pass the local store, now back in business. I’m concerned about the Local Aboriginal Land Council meeting I am to chair later in the month and wonder whether we’ll get support for our proposed roadworks and repairs budget to fix up the solar farm. The increasing heat has had more effect on the infrastructure than predicted, and our power supply can be unpredictable at times.

As the manager of the district Health Centre I use my experience as a dental hygienist to teach Dentistry to final year TAFE students. The program is going from strength to strength and is improving the oral health of local kids. At lunch I’ll pop down to the local food truck and get one of my favourite sandwiches on bread grown, milled and made here on this land.

On my way home I stop to walk along the river. I grew up playing, fishing and swimming in these waters and it is so good to see it flowing like back then now that the new Water Management systems have improved it. I might even get some fish for dinner – there’s Golden Perch, Murry Cod and Catfish swimming in these parts again.

As I go to bed I hear the sound of kids playing, camping and swimming along the riverbank reminding me of my childhood. I think proudly of how we are establishing extensive bush walking paths along here for us elders to teach community members (and tourists) about my country.

Environment | How will your food system of 2050 adapt to climate change and remain resilient?

We envision a national co-ordinated response to climate change, localised for impact and management, and with Indigenous cultural knowledge integrated into policy and practice. 

Our food system can be governed by the Traditional owners of the land formalised through the structure and processes of the Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) (refer to CULTURE theme). The Traditional owners will be drawing on over 60,000 years of knowledge gained from living on this land as it has adapted through climate change thus establishing Food Sovereignty. Oral history (told by ‘songlines’) provides a faithful record of living on, and surviving with, the land, and has ensured practical information is held accurately over millennia (refer to CULTURE theme). This informs the food system and land management Vision. ‘Songlines’ are songs that encode a large amount of information about the sea, land, sky and people and are ‘pathways through the landscape connecting a large number of significant locations (and knowledge) in fixed order’. (Reference list attached: 2, 3). 

By 2050, it is hoped that the oral history has been revived and actively informing science and land practice.

The Traditional owners can gain authority to re-instigate a range of traditional land management practices including ‘cultural burning’ to sustain biodiversity and suppress large bushfires on their ‘own country’ as well as across Australia. (Reference list attached: 4, 5). Traditional burning methods have earned carbon credits in 2020. In 2050, traditional owners can manage lands on their own country. Indigenous communities can also guide water management practices through applying their traditional knowledge to work with governments to support healthy river systems sustaining the lives of people, fish and fauna.

The food system in this Place can create a sustainable program of growing native grains and traditional fruits and vegetables by 2050. These can become a staple component of the daily diet. These foods have adapted to the harsh conditions of the geographical area over millennia, are productive, and nutrient rich. They contribute to habitat and biodiversity, as well as reduced chemical payments for ecosystem services. They enable multiple income streams from native grasses and grains.

The food system can be efficiently linked into the regional area through improved transport systems (Reference list attached: 15 ) which support Indigenous ‘paddock to plate’ enterprise simultaneously with access to products required to augment community life and diet.

The native grains food system directly addresses climate change by increasing the amount of soil carbon sequestration compared to monoculture wheat crops. By harvesting grain from perennial plants grown within agroecosystems, this food system directly reduces atmospheric carbon. By creating a sustainable native grains harvesting operation in this Place firstly for local food provision, then as a model which spreads to other locations, we envision this project can directly reduce the drivers of climate change.

The use of genotypes of local species collected in hotter parts of Australia will introduce heat tolerance to the locally-grown foods. For example, obtaining quandong seed from desert regions of central Australia and growing them in this Place can increase the adaptation of this food system to climate change, given that current predictions are for this Place to become hotter and drier. (Reference list attached: 16 ). 

Community members should prefer nutrient rich healthy foods over the energy dense nutrient poor foods of the 2020 diet (refer DIET Theme). These nutrient rich foods can be available within the community at a local store managed by the Community Food Governance group  (refer DIET theme). This future securely rests on strong governance by Traditional owners, and on a workforce that is sustainable due to legislative support (refer POLICY theme) which recognises the health and social benefits of ensuring that community located jobs within the food system are central to capacity to deliver on a resilient and healthy foody system.  

The food system can have addressed the impact on food availability as a result of climate change (Reference list attached: 6, 17).  Our robust community-governed food supply, incorporating traditional foods, culture and knowledge, can be supported by policies and technological advances designed to buffer the community from climate change effects. (refer to DIET, POLICY and TECHNOLOGY THEMES).

Diets | How will your food system of 2050 address malnutrition in all its forms (undernutrition, micronutrient deficiency, metabolic disease) for the people living there?

The food system of 2050 in this place can be managed through strong Indigenous community governance and leadership (refer CULTURE theme) informed by the work of the Community Food Governance group established in 2020. The system is characterised by Food Sovereignty (refer to CULTURE theme) and supported by clear legislative support for Intellectual Property (IP) rights (refer to POLICY theme). Traditional owners may outsource some of the food production processes locally, whilst keeping this under their management and in line with Food Sovereignty principles.

Our food system can have responded to the United Nations Development Goals for 2030, and have created an equitable, secure and sustainable food supply with ‘nobody left behind’. (Reference list attached: 25). The relevant goals are number 2 (Zero Hunger) which will be reduced by 2050 through local store initiative, and number 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) achieved by 2030 providing a basis for food security and safe water supply in 2050.

By 2050 the Healthy Food Futures plan established by the Community Food Governance group in 2020 will have been in an iterative developmental 10 year review cycle, continually informed by a process of reflection, learning and adaptation known as Developmental Evaluation (Reference list attached: 18). The Healthy Food Futures plan will be a key strategy of the Local Aboriginal Land Council (refer CULTURE theme).  

This food system can be adaptable across differing communities. Based on learnings and developments in the early phases of the Healthy Food Futures plan in this Place, the system will be adaptable to differences between communities which can be:

  • different Moiety’s i.e. clan groups
  • historical (different types of exposure to colonisation)
  • resource based (food access, infrastructure and programs)
  • location based (water security,  and levels of isolation)
  • governance structures
  • capacity to support initiatives


Community preference for healthier foods, including native grains produce and traditional fruits, can be established by 2050 through school programs (see 3 year MILESTONES) and provision of community based food and nutrition programs including through the store. These foods will be available through local food outlets. Nutritional knowledge can be established in community and inform healthier purchase and consumption patterns


Very high 2020 levels of food insecurity and consumption of energy dense, nutrient poor, foods such as hot chips, sugary drinks and processed meats could be eliminated by 2050. This is achieved by:

  • The establishment of sustainable community located stores providing a secure supply of healthy and traditional foods accessible at an affordable cost and locally sourced where possible. Refer to POLICY theme.
  • Thriving enterprises such as the native grains project which will be producing not only native grains for milling but have expanded to include traditional fruits and vegetables. 
  • Community based food and nutrition programs ongoing.


Very high levels of cordial consumption amongst very young Indigenous children aged between 2 to 8 years in 2020 should no longer exist in 2050. Water will instead be the preferred drink as the water supply systems are improved to deliver reliable, tasty, cool and safe drinking options.  This will have been achieved through program initiatives described above and in the ENVIRONMENT, TECHNOLOGY and POLICY THEMES. Several native plant species are traditionally used to flavour drinking water for both kids and adults, including desert lime and kurrajong. By growing these species locally, members of the community who struggle to drink unflavoured water will be encouraged to switch to these healthier alternatives, in lieu of only pure water


The food system of 2050 in this Place should be supported by a multi-strategy and multi-setting approach such as an ecological model. (Reference list attached: 19). This model has been shown to be critical to successfully respond to the complex systems that surround access to healthy foods in Indigenous communities. We see the success of this model as a key ‘signal’ from 2020 for promising approaches to designing a healthy food system within Indigenous communities (Reference list attached: 7, 12) including: 

  • Building community capacity knowledge and skill along with a trained and supported Indigenous nutrition workforce. See ECONOMICS theme.
  • Incorporating traditional nutrition knowledge and skills. See ENVIRONMENT THEME.
  • Engaging food retailers and outlets closely in the Indigenous community led food system. The community can be positioned to manage a flexible food system by negotiating to augment its food supply when foods grown under community management are not available or are insufficient. See ENVIRONMENT THEME.
  • Maintaining evaluation and review practices to ensure initiatives are effective and resonant in this Place, and learnings can be shared between communities and with stakeholders.

Economics | Where and what will the jobs be that support living wages in your future food system of 2050, and how will these jobs impact gender equality?

We have placed capacity building as a key milestone for the first 3 years of our Vision in recognition of historically very low high school completion rates and the need to place community members in optimal position for employment. In the description of PLACE and PEOPLE in our original application we state “ In this Place (in 2020) there are low levels of employment with only around 23% of the community employed full-time, and low high school completion rates with only 24% completing the final grade of high school”.   

Jobs may be created from the export of produce from this Place. This can include locally-branded grains and native food products sold at a market driven premium to chefs both locally and internationally

As we describe in the POLICY THEME, we envision a food system which will support the establishment of ‘backbone’ jobs through government policy initiatives and local enterprise development around the food system – particularly that of traditional foods i.e. native grains, fruits and vegetables. These are permanent positions critical to the sustainability of community endeavours to build and maintain a productive food system supporting a healthy life for the traditional owners of the land. 

These positions will be in:

  • agriculture to support traditional food production 
  • water management to ensure a safe, sustainable, and palatable domestic water supply along with a healthy river system
  • management of  local food outlets retailing native produce;
  • nutrition and food education programs
  • government (local and national) advisory and leadership consultancy
  • technological infrastructure support (e.g. solar farming,  milling, and water efficient garden beds)
  • Food governance group 
  • Legal support regarding: Food Sovereignty, Indigenous Intellectual Property and Native Title.

Gender inequality is overlaid with culture and marginalisation in Australian Indigenous communities. It should be noted that experiences of racism is often gendered and reflects stereotypes of Indigenous men and women. The concept of gender equity in Australian Indigenous communities differs from the Western concept, whereby equal partnerships between men and women fulfill obligations to families and the wider community. This contrasts the Western ideal of gender equity which maintains equitable access to resources, opportunities and power as an individual right. Enhancing the skills, education, knowledge and ability of the whole community through capacity building, will contribute to the empowerment of individual’s to achieve gender equity that is culturally meaningful. (Reference list attached: 23). 

Traditionally food management and preparing was along a gender divide. Some foods may still culturally require either men or women to secure and prepare. 

This Place will strive for gender equity on the Community Food Governance group.

Culture | How will your 2050 food system ensure that the cultural, spiritual and community traditions and/or practices in your Place flourish?

This application has the cultural, spiritual and community traditions and/or practices of our Place woven through each theme, the 3 year milestones, 10 year progress and 2050 Full Vision. These are described here.

Indigenous community leadership and governance throughout the system. This can be formalised through the LOCAL ABORIGINAL LAND COUNCIL (LALC). LALC’s were established in 1977 and a vital well established organisational structure in any Australian Indigenous community.  We envision that these are still a critical community organisation in 2050. LALC’s are “usually closely connected to the communities they serve. They have creative, innovative and constructive ideas on how to support their people towards self-determination. They manage and deliver a range of support services including housing, legal affairs, employment, training and property acquisition and management” (Reference list attached: 24). LALC’s are referred to in each THEME.

‘Community Food Governance’ group will be integrated in to the LALC structure of community leadership and is referred to in the DIET, POLICY and TECHNOLOGY THEMES. This group can lead in all matters related to the food system, manage and implement the Healthy Food Future plan, and advise the LALC.  This group will be engaged in:  

  • Policy making
  • Food Sovereignty
  • Indigenous Intellectual Property rights
  • Traditional foods production and enterprise
  • Management of local food outlets

Food sovereignty can be established over traditional foods and related cultural practices. Food sovereignty is referred to in the DIET THEME, and tightly connected to Native Title and ownership of traditional lands. A key principle is the right for Indigenous people to define their own food and agriculture systems. It is concerned with many of the issues presented in this Vision around understanding traditional foods as: a strong cultural signal linked to land, health and spirit; desirable as a staple of the Australian diet and widely available; the basis for enterprise for Aboriginal communities; and more suitable to the Australian climate and conditions than the current introduced species.  

Native title and ownership of traditional lands and establishment of land management practices. The Native Title act was passed in Australia in 1993 and refers to “the recognition in Australian law that some Indigenous people continue to hold rights to their land and waters, which come from their traditional laws and customs” (Reference list attached: 20). We envision that in 2050 the traditional owners of our place will have submitted their Native Title claim and it will have been accepted.

Indigenous Intellectual Property rights (IP) can be established over traditional foods and their associated cultural value, along with art, ‘songlines’ and language. This is also linked to Food Sovereignty (see above). Indigenous IP is included in the POLICY THEME and described in Australia as:

“…. closely linked to land, cultural heritage and environment, and also to cultural property. In addition, Indigenous communities possess some unique features of their knowledge, creative expressions and innovations, which emphasise communal rights, in which many creative works are of an indefinable antiquity, and in which cultural products, expressions and manifestations are tightly integrated into all other aspects of society. These features are at odds with conventional western notions of intellectual property”. (Reference list attached: 13, 14).

Technology | What technological advances are needed to transform your food system into one that meets your goals and embodies the values of your Vision in 2050?

Indigenous community governance and leadership can ensure the co-design and implementation of technology developed to support the food system and ensure that these supports traditional culture and knowledge. Partnering with ‘tech experts’ accessible within our network can occur as required by the Food System.

Indigenous Intellectual Property rights (refer to POLICY theme) over associated technological development is addressed as a matter of usual practice.

In 2050, technological innovations can support the growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, distribution and selling of native grains and other traditional foods at a level suitable to support enterprise. Methods of effectively milling native grains (which have evolved for hand milling over 10’s of 1000’s of years) will be developed and in use. The technology supporting the traditional foods production system (safely and without loss of nutrient quality) is responsive to changing needs due to climate change and consumer demand.

Research as to the impacts of an automated manufacturing process on the nutrient quality, ‘shelf life’, and food safety of native grains, fruits and vegetables can be conducted and understood by the year 2050 with manufacturing technology and food science responses developed accordingly.

Technologies such as precision agriculture utilising GPS systems, the ‘Internet of Things’ to closely monitor crops, use of drones, and innovations in soil science will enhance traditional foods response to impact of drought and climate change.

Technology advances around infrastructure support will enable:

  • Reliable and high-quality internet coverage which can connect the community to others (including Indigenous communities internationally) who are also building and sustaining food systems including traditional foods.
  • A sustainable and renewable power supply system – possibly solar – to reduce carbon footprint and reduce costs.
  • A safe and palatable supply of water to all homes, services, community locations (including outdoors) and organisations.
  • River systems water management using traditional knowledge to optimise river flows, allow thriving aquatic life, and enable children to play and to fish as their ancestors have done for 10’s of 1000’s of years.
  • Food production, manufacturing, storage and sale.

The establishment of food preservation systems can allow the excess food  produced during winter to be stored and either sold locally in hot summer months when climate change is preventing the production of fresh foods, or transported to distant markets. Such systems must be cheap to run, connected to solar power, require minimal technological knowledge to operate and be able to be repaired/serviced by technicians located within 1 day travel time from this Place. Methods include freeze drying, dehydration and cryogenic freezing, pickling, plus standard methods of refrigeration, or sealing then fumigating.

Building the latest high-tech water efficient garden beds can facilitate production of fresh vegetables in autumn/winter/spring. They can include solar-powered water recycling and water filtration.

Technology for water storage to facilitate growing crops can be used, including tanks and dams with healthy aquaculture systems that also allow locals to eat fresh fish – a traditional food staple.

Aquaculture can be attached to irrigation systems. Whilst in 2020 the capital cost for this was high, by 2050 research and development could have produced initiative for rural communities (both in Australia and overseas) so that this can be done cheaper and on a broad scale. The ancient dams and fish traps at Collarenabri and Brewarrina in NSW  (Reference list attached: 22) are a great culturally-appropriate example that may be considered by the Community Food Governance group to be reproduced in this Place.

Policy | What types of policies are needed to enable your future food system?

Indigenous Intellectual Property (IP) rights around traditional foods are recognised and thriving. (Reference list attached: 13, 14). Policy to implement these rights should be developed and actively in place by 2050.  Traditional foods can be an established core food in Australia, and available from many food outlets including ‘take away’ food outlets nationally. Importantly, Indigenous IP encompasses a different concept of ownership compared to that of western culture. The strong links between culture, land, food, and communities (as represented in the ‘songlines’ see ENVIRONMENT theme) is wrapped in the notion of Indigenous IP and ‘ownership’ is considered a multi-generational custodianship rather than liked to the individual. 

Traditional foods can be incorporated into the Food Standards of Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) guidelines by 2050. FSANZ is a statutory authority in the Australian Government Health portfolio. FSANZ develops food standards for Australia and New Zealand and through their guidelines can enable traditional foods to be widely and safely produced and included into the general Australian diet.

Policy supports sustainable employment locally to enable ‘backbone’ jobs to be established and sustained at a local level. These jobs can ensure initiatives and projects around food are not vulnerable to short term ‘program’ funding and employment cycles. In 2020 employment was erratic in many communities which were caught in a perpetual cycle of initiatives (often initiated and managed by organisations not located in the community and largely non-Indigenous) with short term funding (1-3 years), offering casual or part time short term jobs, delivering short term initiatives, followed by exit with no sustainable remaining infrastructure. In 2050, based on positive findings from research and review data gathered through the Vision initiatives, government recognise that sustainable Indigenous community employment across core services (such as in the food system) is critical to improving the community’s health, quality of life and independence. Permanent positions can exist to support community management of these services, and in 2050 these ‘backbone’ jobs can:

  • be occupied by community members,
  • have built deep community knowledge and skill, and
  • be a resource for the following generations as they continue to provide their community with a secure food system.

Food and nutrition policies exist nationally to support an environment of healthy food preference locally through:

  • community and school programs
  • accessible and available healthy food options in shops and food outlets locally and in regional centres
  • local Native grains, fruit and vegetable enterprises

Traditional land ownership policies can efficiently support Native Title claims (see CULTURE theme). Australian ‘Native Title’ is the right of Indigenous peoples to own their traditional lands and waters, as recognized by common law. In Australia, the judicial system which considers Native Title claims to traditional lands, is chronically underfunded and processing claims is a therefore a lengthy process.

By 2050 the Native Title sector can be adequately funded so that applications are responded to in a timely and transparent way (Reference list attached: 20) thus supporting the growth of traditional food system and culture through traditional custodianship of the lands (Food Sovereignty).

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (DRIP) can unilaterally be supported by the Australian Parliament and be the instrument guiding policy responses to the management of Indigenous Cultural and Property rights including traditional foods. (Reference list attached: 26).

2050 policy to address carbon emissions and climate change can be enshrined and protect the vulnerable. In 2050, local communities can benefit from improved infrastructure and education to navigate heat related health issues, living more harmoniously within the environment with access to the same standard of living conditions as present in metropolitan environments

The Community Food Governance group (refer to DIET theme) can identify ‘windows of opportunity’ in the political landscape to advocate for changes to the food system so as to strengthen the system,  assist it to adapt to climate and other change, and to build local sustainable management capacity and infrastructure. Approaches to successful advocacy may include coupling their policy objectives to other issues of the day, and employment of expert guidance on matters of law and food systems. (Reference list attached: 21)

Describe how these 6 Themes connect with and influence one another in your food system.

Our Vision is to see a resurgence of Indigenous, traditional food, land and water management systems (ENVIRONMENT and CULTURE) which adequately nourish the people and region of this Place (DIET). As these systems are revived and re-established in combination with relevant Western practices (POLICY), we expect to see corresponding enterprise and infrastructure develop in ways that enable sustained uptake and scale-ability (TECHNOLOGY and ECONOMICS).

As indicated in our Systems Map (attached), the activities involved to establish this Vision by 2050 are inextricably linked through the people, infrastructure, history, and education that will drive outcomes and secure a healthier future for this Place.

For example, to enable systems that legitimise and elevate traditional food and land management knowledge (ENVIRONMENT), the Intellectual Properties of this knowledge must be protected and respected through statutory authority (POLICY). As these systems develop, structures and techniques must be established to assist the processes (TECHNOLOGY) and result in both employment and commercial opportunities (ECONOMICS).

Let’s take the example of the proposed re-introduction of native grains.

Assessing the landscape and understanding the land and waterways in context of 1000s of years’ history (told through ‘songlines’), these native seeds will be sown in parts of the region most suitable for successful production. Their adaptability to changing climate conditions will have been considered in their selection. This will require collaboration between the local Indigenous community and regional governing bodies formalised through the structure and processes of the Local Aboriginal Land Council (ENVIRONMENT and CULTURE). The Indigenous Intellectual Property (IP) rights around these traditional foods can also be recognised and protected (POLICY). As the grain initiative sees success and delivers thriving crops, technological innovations can support the growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, distribution and selling of native grains and other traditional foods (TECHNOLOGY). ‘Backbone’ jobs can be created in both the production and retail industries that evolve around this food system and be secured with the assurance of government initiatives informed by a Community Food Governance group (ECONOMICS and POLICY). With the assistance of nutritional education and access to native food products, the health of the community can be markedly improved as foods such as hot chips, fast food, sugary drinks and processed meats are replaced with healthier options (DIET). In 2050 these traditional foods can be an established core food at a national level throughout Australia, sustaining jobs and confirming traditional knowledge through enterprise (ECONOMICS), governance (POLICY), education (CULTURE) and climate resilience (ENVIRONMENT).

Describe any trade-offs you may have to make within your system to attain your Vision by 2050.

We have identified that trade-offs are most likely to occur around the growing, harvesting and production scale up of traditional grains, fruits and vegetables. 

Much of our Vision is built on the foundation that Indigenous traditional knowledge can greatly serve the food systems of Australia’s future. Established over 60,000 years of living on this land as it has adapted through climate change over that time, this knowledge is an invaluable resource. However, the re-introduction of traditional foods is not guaranteed to provide a scale-able industry akin to introduced Western grains and produce. There may be a loss of the financial benefit of large-scale manufacturing if these traditional foods are found not to be suitable for such an approach. Conversely, should production technologies succeed and advance to the point of automation, the envisioned economic benefits of job creation may be negated. There is also a possibility that large-scale manufacturing of traditional foods may negatively impact on their nutritional benefits.

The envisioned uptake of traditional and healthy foods requires a move away from the current energy-dense, nutrient-poor (EDNP) diet usually consumed by people from this Place in 2020. These EDNP food sources, while unhealthy, nevertheless are often associated with having good time and good taste and the shift may be difficult for many to achieve completely. For an authentic and sustained uptake of a traditional diet, a supportive educational program involving community elders and health advisors is integral, particularly for the younger generation for whom traditional food is an occasional food although highly valued and culturally meaningful. Likewise, to ensure that production and cultivation of these food sources is done in a manner respectful of tradition and land, community presence is imperative ‘on the ground’ at production sites. These requirements put a high demand on community elders’ and other members’ time and availability. As the enterprises grow, governance and management roles may need to be outsourced to non-indigenous/community members. Community members will need to monitor and guide these workers however can reduce time required as worker skill increases.

Finally, the Vision aspires that Native Title claims for traditional land ownership will be approved and supported through policy. However, with return of land to traditional owners there is trade-off between the existing production of Western (introduced) grains and produce in the region for traditional foods production. This will require negotiation with those who have farmed the lands since these were taken from the traditional owners, and possibly raise contentious debate over who should have rightful access and use for enterprise.

3 Years | Describe 3 key milestones that you would need to achieve within the next three years for your Vision to be on track?


Community assets and knowledge can be augmented by teachings in:

  • food and nutrition
  • conservation and land management
  • business administration and marketing

Each year, at least 3 students can engage with each of these workshops / courses through to completion. These will be open to all community members and held in this Place, assuring the knowledge is established and shared with others. This aim aligns with prior successes over past 6 years between TAFE and POCHE scholarship programs with overall 93% completion rates.   


Assured by the strong track record of POCHE initiatives in this Place, and enhanced by capacity building activity,  the co-design of local food initiatives can have enabled: the implementation of a sustainable Healthy Food Futures plan to establish a local community food outlet,  and a lunch time collaboration with the school through which children learn about healthy food preferences in a supportive environment. 

Traditional language and culture will be woven through all community food program operations. 

A Community Food Governance group should be established.



Two concurrent strategies:

  • Local grain planted, sustained and ready for harvest within 3 years. Partnerships established with other communities who grow grain and commercialise milling to share learnings and technical capacity.
  • Building marketing and distribution skills for future enterprise. Concurrent with strategy (a)  native grains from other areas are purchased and then sold in the regional town centre (population 10,630) through local organisations e.g. a ‘coffee van’ run by a local school which travels to local markets on weekends and runs a profit. Marketing for native produce can incorporate traditional language and artwork. An interrogation of the feasibility of online sales should be completed. 

10 Years | What progress will you need to make—by 2030—that would set your Vision up to become a reality by 2050?


Community leaders are empowered to successfully lead negotiations on behalf of their communities with key food system stakeholders and to establish partnerships. Continued provision of targeted workshops / courses.



Three successful harvests of native grains should have occurred (based on a 3-year cycle for each), with the workforce to support this endeavor established.

Grains and flour can be sold in partnership with similar endeavors at regional or national levels.

Food products incorporating locally grown native grains are being trialed locally.


The 2020 Community Food Governance group can have implemented the Healthy Food Futures (HFF) plan, supported by the Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC).  The HFF plan is revised and next 10 year plan is able to commence.

The revised HFF Plan includes a traditional fruits and vegetables strategy with a trial planting to be undertaken on a small scale and first harvest due by 2035.   

Healthy food options (including fresh fruit and vegetables) can be securely available within the communities through locally based and managed food outlets which also support and stock produce from the grain’s initiative.



Completion of local council upgrades to roads and to the water supply systems are completed, the latter ensuring a secure supply of safe, palatable drinking water across the communities.  

Reliable Internet and mobile phone services can now be available for all living in these communities following upgrades delivered as part of state government initiatives.

Solar power options have been trialled and scaled up as part of a range of regional solutions for a sustainable and reliable power supply.



Indigenous Intellectual Property rights over local Traditional foods will have been explored by the LALC and a strategy to establish these developed.  

If awarded the $200,000 prize what would you do with it?

Should the Poche Centre at the University of Sydney be awarded the Prize, we intend to use the funds to undertake a feasibility study and evaluation of the wider implementation of the VISION against the 3-year milestones.

Understanding the likelihood of community uptake of these initiatives and the effectiveness of the Community Food Governance group will be key in implementing and the ultimate success of this VISION. Our research over this 3-year period will include gathering data (both qualitative and, where possible, quantitative) to test the viability of the VISION as a model that has the potential to be scale-able to a national level. See Evaluation section in the full vision. 

It is expected that the funds would be directed towards research staffing capacity at the Poche Centre, as well as potentially project costs necessary to undertake the feasibility study and evaluation. Project costs could include, but not limited to, project staffing, establishment of education programs, native grains procurement, and support for the Community Food Governance group, in addition to costs associated with these activities such as travel and subsistence related to workshops with other communities, and field trips for community members to visit and engage with other Indigenous communities with traditional food enterprises.

If you are chosen as a Top Visionary, The Rockefeller Foundation would like to share your Vision widely with a global audience. What would you like the world to learn from your Vision for 2050?

Indigenous communities in Australia are keepers of over 60,000 years of knowledge gained from living on this land. Australia’s first peoples have suffered an oppressive history of racism and violence over the past 200 years, and it is only recently that this country has accepted the significance of Indigenous peoples knowledge, language, land and sea management, and cultural expressions such as ‘songlines’.

The resilience and strength of Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing has the potential to provide a sustainable food system across Australia as the country experiences increasingly changeable climate conditions that have significant impact on food quality and availability. Re-introducing native food sources that are adaptable to harsher climate conditions, and produce healthier alternatives for consumption, is envisaged to have a meaningful impact on the dietary health and economic wellbeing of the communities managing production. These foods also have the potential to drive a shift in agricultural practice across Australia in the face of increasing heat and times of drought.

Our Vision for 2050 not only describes a sustainable food source through the re-introduction and cultivation of traditional foods, but also a profound acknowledgment of the significance of the culture held by Australia’s first people.  

Please share a visual that communicates the structure and operation of your food system in 2050. Describe the visual.

Please find here a link to the presentation style format of our systems map for the FULL REFINED VISION.

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Attachments (11)

FInal REFINED FULL VISION Indigenous Australians.pdf

Please find attached here our submission of a REFINED FULL VISION for "Indigenous Australians: a Culturally Resonant, Optimistic and Secure Healthy Food Future".

Reference list Refined Full Vision.pdf

Please find attached here the Reference list for the Refined Full Vision

Webistes attachment.docx

This attachment lists websites / links referred to in our application to the first stage of the food vision prize

Colonialism Racism and Indigenous Health.pdf

Article: Colonialism Racism and Indigenous Health

Community Governance.pdf

Article: Describes Indigenous community governance structures implemented previously in health research and promotion

Nutrition interventions review.pdf

Article by team lead: Systematic review of Dietary Interventions in Indigenous communities in Australia

Food and Nutrient Intake of Aboriginal children Paper.pdf

Article by Team Lead: Food and Nutrient Intake of Indigenous Australian Children

DIetary intake Review.pdf

Article: Systematic review Food and Nutrient Intake of Indigenous Communities in Australia

Closing the Gap - the need to consider water.pdf

Article: water and its place in Indigenous Health in Australia


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Photo of Ellia Guy

Hello Josephine. Kylie from our team has already commented but getting in touch again to say thanks such an inspiring project. We are looking forward to reading more on your refinement! As we weave our final submission together, incorporating Indigenous values, culture has been a key component and we've been exploring how kangaroo grass might play a role in the grain future of Brisbane's local food system in 2050, as an alternative grain among many other native plants. We'd love to chat further in the future around things like this so will stay in touch! Cheers, Ellia (and our team from Brisbane)

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