NRF Industry Event: Navigating Australian Native Foods

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NRF Industry Event: Navigating Australian Native Foods

June 16th, 2021 @ 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm AEST

Northern Rivers Food is pleased to announce our next industry event will focus on ‘Navigating Australian Native Foods’.  We are excited to announce that our guest speakers will be Josh Gilbert and Mindy Woods.  Rebecca Barnes from Playing with Fire MC’ing our event and local Arakwal leader Delta Kay will offer a warm welcome to country.


The Northern Rivers region of NSW has seen a big growth in the production and use of Australian Native Foods in this region.  Locally we produce an impressive range of native foods including: macadamias, Davidson Plums, finger limes, lemon myrtles (in fact all the myrtles), strawberry gum, lilly pillies, lemon aspen, native mint, native raspberries and there is also an enormous array of indigenous spices and flavourings that are less well known but show incredible diversity of flavours and textures.

Our local food industry has seen a steady rise in interest and use of Australian native foods in a range of food & beverage products in food service, and value add products such as jams, conserves, oils, vinegars, chocolate products, cookies, ice cream, meat products and gin! We expect to see this grow even more, as the awareness and demand for these local foods and value add products grow.

With this growth, our local industry has expressed interest in understanding more about the cultural aspects of these foods and the respectful path to market when it comes to marketing Australian native foods in products – who do they acknowledge, how do they do it, what should they say? What are the ‘right’ things to do when growing, marketing, producing local food and beverage products using Australian native foods?

Our industry session on “Navigating Australian Native Foods” will offer Indigenous insights on Aboriginal cultural and use of our native foods and how to not only use native foods in our locally produced food and beverage products, but how to ELEVATE them to another level!

Both our speakers are successful, innovative, talented, Indigenous entrepreneurs with a proud heritage and passion for Australian native foods.

Karkalla restaurant in Byron Bay (owned and run by Mindy Woods one of our speakers) will be catering for this event, showcasing some tasty, canapes using …you guessed it…Australian Native Foods!


Our Speakers:


Josh is a Worimi man, based in Gloucester NSW, whose family ancestors are recorded as having the first recorded birth in a cave in the Gloucester mountains.

Josh pursues transformation through modern truth telling, bringing new concepts to the forefront through acknowledgement of the past.

He is an entrepreneur and business advisor, working predominantly in the Aboriginal cultural, agricultural and environmental spheres. He has worked with not for profits, businesses and government to bring people on a journey of change.

Josh believes engagement with Aboriginal People is critical to understanding landscapes, society and business. Josh has worked on the commercialisation and export strategy for Kakadu Plums and believes the opportunities for commercialising all Australian native foods are endless.


Mindy Woods is a proud Bundjalung woman of the Widjabul Wia-bul clan.  Mindy is following her dreams in opening her own venue ‘Karkalla’ in Byron Bay, fuelled by a desire to create opportunities for indigenous and non-indigenous people to connect with Aboriginal culture, art and stories through food.

Karkalla restaurant features locally sourced, seasonal produce and native indigenous ingredients.  Karkalla aims to provide guests a truly memorable Byron Bay experience with a warm and knowledgeable service and genuine food & beverage offering.

Mindy will share her love of food, heritage and culture and talk about how to elevate Australian native food ingredients into something truly special.  She will also offer her suggestions to the local food & beverage industry, on how they can incorporate Australian native foods into their products and how to do so respectfully.


Rebecca Barnes heads up Playing with Fire Native Foods, a local Northern Rivers NSW company that is working hard to promote the virtues of the Australian native food industry.

Rebecca would like to see more people growing Australian native foods in this region. She encourages people moving to this region who buy land to consider growing Australian native foods such as Davidson Plums and myrtles to help increase the supply to meet the growing demand.

She produces, markets and sells a range of products using Australian native foods and also offers a grower consultation service and education programs for people starting out. She welcomes contact from growers seeking information on growing Australian native foods.


Ewingsdale Hall, William Flick Ln, Ewingsdale NSW 2481
Ewingsdale Hall, William Flick Lane
Ewingsdale, NSW 2481 Australia
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