The Outback Pride Project is promoting the Australian native
food industry by developing the native food industry and supporting
a network of production sites within traditional Aboriginal communities.
The cultivation of Australian native food provided indigenous
Australians with jobs and training in horticulture and the food
industry. The project also acknowledges the intellectual property
and cultural ownership of the traditional uses of bush foods.
Pride Project was created by Mike and Gayle Quarmby of Reedy Creek,
South Australia in 2001. Their aim was to provide opportunities for
remote Aboriginal communities to access an industry where their
traditional knowledge would be valued.
Gayle's family involvement with traditional communities goes back to 1932, when
her father Rex Battarbee travelled in a model T Ford to the central
Australian outback settlement of Hermannsburg, south west of Alice
Springs. Read more about the Namatjira
Mike Quarmby, a true "tree chaser" and innovator, brought to the
project his 45 years of experience in business, product and supply
chain development and innate skill with botany. Mike has pioneeded
commercial cultivation in the native foods industry.
Mike and Gayle felt that their combined skills could provide a
platform for a unique development in the bush food industry. The
focus of the project is their vision of "Jobs and Training for
Indigenous Australians". They saw that the bush food industry
should be operated as a parallel to the aboriginal art industry.
Both these industries have a unique cultural and commercial
ownership by Indigenous Australians.
The journey, beginning in
2001, has taken Mike and Gayle on a complex and interesting path.
Initially they spent time in the outback with aboriginal people
researching the bush food species.
While mapping the best types relative to their commercial
potential, invaluable support was received from their good friend
and botanist Peter Latz.
The next step was to create the systems of propagation and
cultivation for up to 64 bush food
species. This process continues to be ongoing and consumes a
large amount of Mike's time. The systems developed at this time
were then put into practice on numerous trial sites in across South
Australia and Northern Territory.
Mike and Gayle have, during the development of Outback Pride,
planted 500,000 native food plants over 26 Aboriginal communities
and engaged with thousands of community members.
The brand Outback Pride was created as a sustainable outcome for
Mike and Gayle Quarmby's commercial Reedy Creek Nursery, in South
Australia's South East, operates with ethical and environmentally
positive principles and is the major fresh product supply chain for
the Outback Pride brand and food service.
The arid zone native food products are also grown on remote
Aboriginal communities, as part of the broader Outback Pride
Project. Which has developed a network of bushfood production sites
on traditional Aboriginal communities.
Reedy Creek provides the commercial base for research and
development of all facets of the Outback Pride project, and wholly
runs Outback Pride
Historical Partnerships and Support
Mike and Gayle decided
initially to self fund the project and gave five years of their
time at no cost to indigenous communities. After many years of
mentoring, developing and supplying the plants, and helping the communities set up the growing
systems, Mike and Gayle have been joined by various government
departments, including ILC, DEWR, Works SA, Dept. of the Premier
& Cabinet SA, Regional TAFE SA and Nganampa Health Council, who
have also provided valuable support to the communities involved.
A big part of the Quarmby's vision was to incorporate accredited
training for participants in the project. Groups of participants
have been brought from communities
to Reedy Creek Nursery to be able to access real industry work
experience. A partnership between Reedy Creek Nursery and Regional
TAFE SA supported this skill development process.
In order to create an outcome for the participating indigenous
communities, a co-op like value adding arm was developed. Combining
the knowledge of traditional uses of the bushfoods with western
food practices, the end use products are available under the brand
name "Outback Pride".
The group of aboriginal communities that form the Outback
Pride network represent the largest bushfood growing organization
Now Located at Penola
In 2015, Outback Pride entered a new phase, with the delegating
of the Outback Pride grocery division and manufacturing of end
products to new owners at Cobb & Co, Penola.
Vic and Maura Musolino have a desire to connect with sustainable
food production of a truly Australian nature. They have taken on
the challenge to migrate the Outback Pride manufacturing of hand
crafted products and the distribution operations from Reedy Creek
At Reedy Creek, Mike and Gayle under the Outback Pride Fresh
banner continue to produce the herbs and fruit as the supply chain
to Outback Pride at Cobb & Co in Penola.
In close collaboration with Mike and Gayle, Vic and Maura
Musolino will continue to grow the Outback Pride brand, spreading
awareness of the authentic native food story behind the