Our Business

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.

A hand-drawn image of a canoe (lipalipa) with each oar representing parts of the Knowledge Water business

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.

Arnhem Beverage Company

Ownership – majority Indigenous. 57% RBP (100% Indigenous-owned). 43% Cultivate NT (non-Indigenous).

Garramatji Ngurruwtthun
Board Member
Mandjawuy Community Member
Mapungu Ngurruwutthun
Board Member
Senior Family Elder
Rurruwiliny Ngurruwutthun
Board Member
Teacher, Mandjawuy School
Bhavini Patel
Board Member
Governance & Health Expert
Rod Baker
Board Member
Educator, Agricultural Scientist, Long-Term Community Partner

Knowledge Water Strategic Advisory Group

Pro Bono Advisors - Cultural and Industry Experts

Wäka Mununggurr
Djapu Clan Elder
Senior Cultural Advisor
Barayuwa Mununggurr
Chairman, Laynhapuy Homelands Aboriginal Corp.
Bernadette Gore
MD, Care Accounting
CPA Accountant
Damian Pincus
Creative Partner, The Works
Advertising Expert
Andrea Brydges
MD, Bite Communications
PR Expert
Mark Allen
Managing Principal, FCW Lawyers
George O'Neil
ANZ Marketing Dir. De'Longhi
FMCG Marketing Expert
Christie Smyth
Sales Partner
OPS and Sales Expert
Dan Cotton
Director, PKF Corp. Finance
Corporate Advisor
Phil Baldock
Former Coca-Cola MD
Beverages Expert
John McLachlan
Operations Director, Elevencom
Advertising Expert
Jono McCauley
Creative Partner, Elevencom
Marketing Expert
Ryan Fallowfield
Creative Director, Elevencom
Creative Expert
Adam & Carmel Wooding
Empower Digital
E-commerce Experts
A group of smiling Indigenous and non-Indigenous people stands smiling in front of a dusty 4 wheel drive in Mandjawuy, NT

Yaka Gana!

(Not alone)

The Knowledge Water Trade and Production Hub

Knowledge Water is just the beginning of a long journey towards Yolngu independence. We have big dreams and big plans to realise them. Our business will continue to grow and create new employment opportunities across a range of activities.

The Knowledge Water Trade and Production Hub will be the home of this activity. The hub has already been constructed in Darwin and is due to be installed on site at Mandjawuy in mid-2023. This facility includes a tanker filling station, an internet-connect office, and a workshop space. The hub will allow greater Yolngu involvement in sales and management of the Knowledge Water business, as well as workshop space to develop new branches of the business, like bush produce, carbon farming and traditional art. This facility will also be used to conduct training and workshops associated with our Munyuku Trust.

The Knowledge Water ripple effect

1. Community

Local Yolngu employment
Funding to support local school
Full-time teacher guaranteed
Strong empowered community

2. Region

A healthier drink alternative
More Yolngu teachers trained
Support for homeland school network
Secondary employment in region

3. Australia

Economic activity through supply chain
Saving on welfare and receipt of tax
Sharing of Yolngu knowledge
Role model for future Indigenous enterprise

2 Indigenous children run and jump through the bush while 3 smiling adults watch on

Ngathilyun Nhäma - Vision Statement

Dhukarry’warryun yudawu djamarrkuliwu djalkiridalkuma ga djalkirinhirranmi. Creating a path for future generations to stand independently and walk strong.