Dreamtime Tuka, a small company based in Wellington in regional NSW, is set to supply the airline with 150,000 slices flavoured in a mouth-watering lemon myrtle jam with a coconut topping.
Its founder, Wiraduji man Herb Smith, runs the show as a one-man band from home, and says sharing a product that embraces his culture and heritage on such a massive scale is a wonderful sense of achievement.
“It’s something that hasn’t happened before ... it’s history in the making,” Mr Smith says.
He says his grandmother once gave him home-made biscuits but after a career spanning 31 years in the police, then moving on to run state government programs where he organised Indigenous food catering, figured it was time to revisit an old passion.
Mr Smith beat 30 other suppliers to make it on to the Qantas menu and says feedback from customers has been “fantastic”.
“By including Australian bush flavours, such as lemon myrtle, cinnamon myrtle and wattle seed in my slices and biscuits I’m giving people a distinctive Australian customer experience, and I’m really pleased a company like Qantas wants to promote that.”
He says his long-term goal is to expand the business to create a small industry where he can employ people in his small town of 6000, where about 26 per cent of the population are Indigenous.
“Qantas started off in Longreach with one plane and I’m starting off as one man in a small town too,” he says.
Qantas head of product and service delivery Helen Gray says the airline knew it had to share Dreamtime Tuka’s slices after seeing them presented, not only due to the quality but also because of Mr Smith’s “uniquely Australian story”.
The slices will be served on mid-morning domestic and QantasLink flights around the country.