Community & Cultural Projects

Bush Tucker

Bush tucker seems to be the flavour of the moment but for our Aboriginal communities, it can be a source of livelihood.  There is huge potential for culturally-based employment for Aboriginal people, particularly in regional areas in the creative industries, cultural tourism and events.  Each Australia Day, a different town on the Mid North Coast hosts the Saltwater Freshwater Festival, reaching crowds of up to 10,000 people. A key part of the Festival program is the Aboriginal crafts and food village.  This provides the opportunity for local Aboriginal artists, artisans, producers and caterers to showcase their product to a wide and diverse audience.

To assist with this, Saltwater Freshwater ran stallholder training workshops to ensure people had the necessary skills, certification and qualifications to do so.  Aunty Sue Tomkins from Bush Tucker Shack was one of our participants.

The workshops have helped me to develop a business plan, providing me with networks, suppliers, qualifications and confidence.  It was nice to meet like-minded people who are going through the same issues as you.  When people ask how did you get started, I always say Saltwater Freshwater helped me out.  Now I have a fire in my belly.”   – Sue Tomkins, Bush Tucker Shack

Case Study | 2011 & 2012 Stallholder Workshops

A two-day tailored Food Safety Supervisors course was also delivered through Taree Community College. Mentors included Aboriginal chef Clayton Donovan and Jane Donovan from Nambucca’s award-winning Jaaning Tree restaurant, Donna Carrier from Wingham’s multi-award winning café Bent on Food, and Jill Richardson from A Taste of the Bush specialising in native flavours and produce.

The workshop series included practical advice from food specialists (chefs/caterers), small businesses and government agencies on topics such as menu advice, marketing, applying for grants, financial advice,

Through this training, participants were given the skills to grow their own business and to seize other opportunities with mainstream festivals and events up and down the coast.


  • 14 Aborigi
  • nal Participants
  • 9 Leading mentors in various fills across business development.
  • 7 Aboriginal participants receiving Food Safety qualifications
  • 3 Workshops delivered across 12 months period
  • 4 new Aboriginal vendors at the Saltwater Fr
    eshwater Festival.


  • Increased awareness of new food safety handling laws
  • Created a learning environment that Aboriginal people felt comfortable and confident in.
  • Created mentor’s for starting or growing a small business
  • Provided essential marketing and financial tools
  • Created networking opportunities so participants can continue building opportunities after the workshops were completed.
  • Support, encouragement and direction for her business.

 “I was already computer savvy but I wanted to increase my social media skills to build my business profile on line. Since attending the workshop I have developed a professional Face Book page and the networking from the day has directly lead to other business building opportunities, I’m now at a point where I can pay my bills through my art.”

Rex Winston-Walford


Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.



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