Connecting with Culture: Roogenic and the Community

Connecting with Culture: Roogenic and the Community

“Modern and Dreamtime coming together as one.”

– Young Indigenous Elder, Robert Dann

Bringing a taste of Australia to you through our native Australian teas and plant products is something we are proud to achieve and in doing so, Roogenic has built a strong connection with Indigenous communities around the country that source the wild-harvested ingredients like native lemon myrtle, native lemongrass, quandongs, and the Kakadu Plum known to Indigenous Australians as ‘Gubinge’.

The Gubinge is a small native fruit that has the highest natural vitamin C content in the world. It also contains zinc, potassium, magnesium, and is packed full of anti-oxidants; so it is no wonder that Indigenous communities in the North-West of Australia have these fruits as a traditional staple in their diet.

“You see all the older ones, all the elders, go out and pick the Gubinge and eat it straight from the actual tree,” says Young Indigenous Elder, Robert Dann.

Roogenic works closely with Robert Dann, a Nyul Nyul man, and his community who pick the native Gubinge in Western Australia’s Kimberley region. He believes it has helped to strengthen their connection to country and encouraged the passing on of bush tucker traditions.

“Our grandfather, he was one of the elders of our community and he knew all about the bush tucker and how to collect it and when to collect it … so it’s an ongoing teaching and it’s teaching our younger ones how to look after country because then the country will look after you.”

Robert Dann expressed concern about some dark issues in the Kimberley, many surrounding high rates of mental health issues and suicide, but he said that working with the land and picking Gubinge has helped the younger community to build self-esteem and given them the confidence and belief in themselves to engage and reconnect to culture.

“The Gubinge picking is helping a lot of the younger kids going out to country with the elders … it actually helps them to have a balanced life.”

– Robert Dann

Indigenous communities are facing threats to their culture but also to their land and, according to Robert, one of the biggest challenges is fracking starting to happen in the Kimberley.

Robert Dann says, “What Roogenic is doing with us is actually starting to empower us and starting to show the government what we can do with native harvest, and keep a sustainable income, but also to give back to Australia.”

Roogenic is proudly Australian and our products play an active role in supporting Indigenous communities, small farmers and elders, helping support their farming practices but also strengthening connection to culture. This can help the elders, Indigenous communities and small farmers pass down the knowledge and wisdom to the younger generation.

“Roogenic is helping to power us and to power the younger ones as well.”

– Robert Dann

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