On Friday 8 March, International Women’s Day was celebrated around the globe acknowledging the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. In the outer suburbs of eastern Melbourne, 30 Aboriginal women from across Victoria attended a bushfood and botanicals workshop to mark the occasion.
The women explored the business of bushfoods and botanicals from growing to manufacturing, retailing products and services.
Speakers included successful Aboriginal businesswomen from Queensland and New South Wales, who shared their tips on establishing and sustaining a bushfood business. A highlight was a presentation on the regulatory requirements for botanicals in the cosmetic industry.
The women expressed a desire for more information about the burgeoning bushfood industry, including more workshops on wild harvest and cultivation, processing, marketing and business planning. Participants also created a Facebook group called Bushfoods are in our DNA to share knowledge and collaborate.
Agriculture Victoria and Small Business Victoria hosted the event as part of Tharamba Bugheen, Victorian Aboriginal Business Strategy. Tharamba Bugheen is working to improve access to business support, the visibility and networks of Aboriginal businesses and to strengthen the entrepreneurial culture and experience of Aboriginal Victorians. Agriculture Victoria is working with Aboriginal landholders and businesses with interests in bushfood production.
Image above: Bushfoods and botanicals workshop held the day before International Women’s Day (Image: Mikaela Egan)