Our Legacy

Bush Medijina

Telstra Business Awards  |  NT |  State Winner

2019 Telstra Social Change Maker

Bush Medijina started with an empty shipping container and a big dream inspired by the female elders of Groote Eylandt, an island off the coast of the Northern Territory.

That dream was to grow a business, support Warningakalina women, share their culture with others, and preserve traditions and knowledge for future generations.

An all-women, Indigenous-owned social enterprise, Bush Medijina is making a difference to the livelihoods of local Indigenous women of the Archipelago. Within its walls, knowledge is passed down from older to younger generations to harvest bush produce and make bush remedies for sale right across Australia.

Using the elders’ knowledge of traditional bush medicine, the women harvest local bush produce and combine them with natural and sustainable ingredients sourced from the most reputable suppliers across Australia, to create hand-made skin products, including soaps, balms, body butters, scrubs and oils.

The empty container where it all started in 2016 has quadrupled in size and become a bustling working place. Here, young women learn the traditional techniques from mothers, grandmothers, aunties and elders and create unique products that support the community.

“We want to grow our business from a small seed to a giant tree, so it can stay strong, just like our culture” said senior elder and Deputy ASAC Chairwoman, Gayangwa Lalara.

With its online store, Bush Medijina has carved a niche in the Indigenous tourism sector, selling to niche upscale retailers Australia wide and to ethically-conscious consumers and corporates from major metro cities.

After winning 2019 Telstra Northern Territory Social Change Maker Award, Serena Bara, Deputy Chair and Team Leader said, “Winning the Telstra award gave us the confidence and motivation to continue our mission. Our team works very hard and to have this recognised at these awards is a great achievement.”

“It has opened more doors for us and has been great brand exposure. It was a good boost for our business and for our communities on Groote Eylandt.”

Part of Bush Medijina’s vision is to contribute to improving the lives of locals who are suffering from diminishing culture, health, schooling, employment and safety, amongst other things. The business provides Indigenous employment, leadership and empowerment, as well as traditional and modern education and wellbeing support.

One hundred per cent of profits from the enterprise are also reinvested into the communities in which it operates, boosting social outcomes for Warningakalina women.

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