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NAIDOC Week 2021: Heal Country

Native Title & Public Interest Law
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Each July, NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and diverse achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

The theme of NAIDOC Week 2021, Heal Country!, is practiced every day by Arnold Bloch Leibler’s friends and partners at Black Duck Foods, as the team works to raise awareness and application of traditional Indigenous food-growing and country management technique. 

Co-founded by Bruce and Jack Pascoe, Black Duck Foods is changing the narrative around the complex interconnections between our food system, the wider ecosystem and Indigenous Australian’s practices of Caring for Country.

A central aspect of the enterprise is sharing information about traditional agricultural systems with Indigenous Australians across the country to encourage them to leverage their own traditional culture and knowledge for both economic and environmental benefits. 

Black Duck Foods describes their mission as:

  • Researching what the elders did – Indigenous led research is a core value.
  • Understanding how elders managed Country – and identifying what values that creates now.
  • Understanding how elders sustainably grew foods that benefited all of life on Country, and identifying what systems, processes and methods can be implemented today.
  • Actively encouraging Indigenous people to be employed to learn and share this knowledge.
  • Inspiring the broader Australian community to value this knowledge & reform agricultural practices across Australia for the sake of Country.
  • Developing the process so that other Indigenous communities don’t have to start from scratch.

"We have to learn to listen to country and grow the plants that she wants to grow," says Bruce. "We spend so much time killing plants that want to grow and then spend and enormous amount of money trying to grow plants that don't want to grow in Australia — let's grow Australian plants."

For more information on Black Duck Foods, click here

For more on NAIDOC Week, click here

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