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Gather Foods News

Indigenous Enterprises Join Forces to Combat Major Threats on Country

 Perth’s premium Aboriginal event performance service, Corroboree For Life, is amalgamating with award-winning Indigenous catering and events company, Gather Foods, to build an Aboriginal resistance against environmental pressures on Noongar Country. 

A strategic business amalgamation between Perth’s most celebrated Aboriginal event performance artists, Corroboree For Life, and catering and events company, Gather Foods, will mobilise Perth’s Indigenous youth into protecting the fragile Noongar Country environment. 

The symbiotic business relationship will enable Perth’s event organisers to book Indigenous services for events and cultural programs through a consolidated online portal. However, the partnership incorporates an in-house initiative that will help young ‘at risk’ Aboriginals strengthen their ties to the land through integrated cultural experiences. 

Gather Foods Managing Director and Noongar traditional landowner, Gerry Matera, says the boundaries of Noongar Country stretch across the entire south-western portion of Western Australia, and the land is in desperate need of assistance. 

“WA leads the world in biodiversity loss due to climate change and extreme weather conditions. Forests located in the heart of Noongar Country are dying and our wildlife is already being displaced. In the next ten years, the World Economic Forum has sighted that our ecosystem is at the highest risk of collapsing and, as Aboriginal people, our inherent duty is to listen to and look after the land,” he said. 

“The mechanism that supports Gather Foods’ unique business model promotes change through demonstration. We have grown exponentially as a business by mentoring and training young Aboriginal people into employment and building cultural bridges with event patrons through education and understanding. 

“Our amalgamation with Corroboree For Life extends our work towards the greater purpose of protecting the environment. Our Country needs new Indigenous leadership and by promoting culture, bush tucker, traditional dance and stories to young aboriginal people, we are creating a ripple effect that can reignite our relationship to Country.” 

Australia has lost more mammal and plant species over the past 200 years than any other country. Many native animals are on the brink of extinction and Western Australia is ranking incomparably high on the World Economic Forum risk registry (Ref: World Economic Forum Global Risk Perception Survey 2023-2024) 

The Indigenous youth program will work with ‘at risk’ Aboriginal youth to help them reengage with the culture and become our next community leaders. It will incorporate visits to Country with Aboriginal Elders and Traditional Owners which may extend to several days at a time. 

Employment opportunities will be developed to support the growing enterprise and help to shift the trajectory of young Aboriginal lives impacted by systemic racism, domestic violence and incarceration. 

Corroboree For Life is guided by local Wadjak and Balardong Elders and offer dance workshops, youth programs and event bookings for cultural/contemporary dance and acknowledgment of country ceremony performances. Performers are already headlining some of Perth’s most prominent events. 

Corroboree For Life Founder and proud Noongar man, Ash Penfold, said that many Western Australians may have already experienced one of the organisation’s ‘Acknowledgement to Country’ performances without understanding the depth of its underpinning work. 

“I founded Corroboree For Life to address the devastating suicide rate amongst Aboriginal people. I wanted to help them see something outside of who they think they are by sharing culture through dance and stories,” he said. 

“Joining forces with Gather Foods is a natural fit for an Indigenous events business, although the impact we will have by consolidating our cultural assets in support of otherwise disengaged young people, will take our work to another level. 

“This is an excellent example of how commercial enterprise can contribute to social and environmental matters without protest or hostility. I am incredibly excited to be part of the initiative and look forward to making a significant difference.” 

Gather Foods continues to receive international esteem for its progressive business model and approach to breaking down negative Aboriginal stereotypes through demonstration. The company is the recipient of a LUXLife Food and Hospitality Award and was recently acknowledged with the Judges’ Award at the Belmont & WA Small Business Awards. 

The amalgamation of the two businesses will see Corroboree For Life retain its name for booking purposes under the operation of Gather Foods events services