Controlling Our Destiny
Water has always been part of our culture. It is a symbol of knowledge, and a powerful link to our past. Now we are using water to protect our future.
With the help of our long-term supporters, we have created a business called the Arnhem Beverage Company. This is a majority Yolngu-owned business with clear social objectives.
In our business we are packaging the pure water from the natural spring on our land and selling it across Arnhem Land and around Australia.
This Knowledge Water will give the people of our region a healthier alternative to sugary drinks and it will give people in the rest of Australia a taste of our culture.
Knowledge Water will also create real, long-term jobs and make our community self-sufficient so we don’t have to rely on welfare.
But just as importantly, profits will be invested in our homeland school system via our Munyuku Trust. We will also generate funds to train Yolngu people as teachers, which is the key to keeping our culture alive for generations to come.
Our Yolngu Business Concepts
Our business blends traditional Yolngu culture and metaphors with western business concepts. We have developed a bi-cultural and bi-lingual shareholder agreement that sets out our approach in detail.
The metaphor we use for our business is the lipalipa (canoe). Each person in the lipalipa has a different role, but we all paddle in unison towards a common goal.
Another important concept for our business is dhapirrk (balance). Without being dhapirrk, our lipalipa is unstable and we lose focus.
Our profits will also be distributed according to our Yolgnu culture so that everyone who contributes and supports us is rewarded fairly.
Yaka Gana!(Not alone)
A Factory of Our Own
For the first stage of the Knowledge Water project we are packaging our water off-site with our partner Carton & Co. Funds from this stage will be invested in community building, paying wages for work on our homeland, and funding our school.
But our next goal is to build our own factory so we can create more long-term jobs by packaging our spring water at its source.
We have been working for many months to finalise the design of our factory with our ngapaki partners in the city. We have also fenced the factory site using money raised from our supporters.
Now we just need to prove our business case through our product trial and secure the final funding we need to get started with the build.
Thank you to our partners and supporters
Thanks also to our Strategic Advisory Group
Rod Baker, Bhavini Patel, Stephen Maher, Jono McCauley, John McLachlan, Ryan Fallowfield, Phil Baldock, Damian Pincus, George O’Neil, Dan Cotton, Mark Allen, Patrick Allen, Andrea Brydges, Bernie Gore, Peter Neilsen.