The Kakadu plum harvest season is a unique time of year when Indigenous women from the Top End come together and immerse themselves within culture while working to distribute the traditional bush tucker fruit to businesses across the country.
Leila Nimbadja, a senior traditional owner and Gurrgoni woman from the Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation in west Arnhem Land, leads a group of women in plum picking and told NITV News it is a time of year where they can truly connect with traditional culture.
“It’s just like olden days like their parents used to do... that’s what they want to do, to follow their parent's knowledge,” she said.
Ms Nimbadja said she is leading the way in plum picking to help guide women and younger generations into the knowledge of traditional bush food and how to cook fresh food instead of turning to take-away fast food.
“[Bush food] Leads them away from future heart and kidney problems and diabetes and all that,” she said.
The Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation is a part The Northern Australia Aboriginal Kakadu Plum Alliance (NAAKPA) which was formed in August 2018. The alliance is made up of nine Aboriginal organisations that distribute the Kakadu plum across Australia.
Melissa Bentivaglio from Thamarrurr Development Cooperation, one of the NAAKPA groups, told NITV News this was the first season the alliance has teamed together.
She said the group was formed to support each other in the distribution of the fruit and to help build the economy of the nine countries the enterprises sit on.
The groups also regularly visit each other to gain a greater understanding of how they are operating and harvesting.
“It’s also to have a collective voice about the Indigenous involvement in the industry,” she said.
“It’s been really good to have regular contact with the other Indigenous cooperation’s and groups who are involved with Kakadu plums.”