Wiradjuri CC Innovative Enterprise RIG News #9
Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation, NSW
Innovative approaches to business, health & wellbeing
Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation (WCC) in western NSW is turning local waste into marketable organic compost. The new business is one of several ventures that illustrate WCC’s holistic approach to community and business development.
WCC’s Business Hub coordinates more than ten business enterprise initiatives and grew out of recognition of the importance of establishing a range of businesses to underpin the resilience of the community in the face of the potential vulnerability of living in a remote rural community. Rural towns such as Condobolin face especially complex challenges in a globalised, technology influenced world, where governments are withdrawing services and where climate change is developing as a negative factor.
The Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation (WCC) was established in 2003 to implement the provisions of the Ancillary Deed on behalf of Native Title Party, and to create a better quality of life for the people of the Wiradjuri Condobolin community.
Percy Knight, CEO of WCC, reports excellent feedback on the compost product. In addition to local agricultural users, the local organic compost will be a key input to the community market garden that WCC and the community are establishing.
The garden is being designed to foster and support community wellness. It will focus on high anti-oxidant fruit and vegetables and traditional health and food plants and be developed following both Aboriginal land management practices in conjunction with current horticultural methods to ensure the site promotes environmentally sustainable best land management principals.
WCC’s business and community development activities aim to integrate social, health and cultural elements as well as economic and employment opportunities, into project design and delivery. WCC’s compost business, Nursery, Eco-Housing project, and compressed earth bricks business demonstrate the philosophy in action as does the sustainable design, cultural programs and goals, of the Wiradjuri Study Centre. The Study Centre building will host a range of programs and activities, including a Conservation and Environment Centre, Cultural Centre, Wellness Centre and Yarn Up Space, and will be completed later this year.
The proposed WCC Eco-Housing project will see the construction of fifteen houses at a culturally significant site in its first phase. The project will demonstrate that responses to community needs have to be culturally appropriate and environmentally sustainable and be undertaken within a framework of an ongoing economic future. The houses are designed to be environmentally sustainable and energy efficient and will use compressed earth bricks manufactured by WCC’s local compressed earth bricks business. The constructions will also rely on sustainable on-site sources of energy and power, include solar energy, and will recycle water – features that also promise to assist residents to grow gardens.
The Eco-Housing project aims to help local people to be involved in home construction and ownership and give the community the opportunity to be become asset rich whilst being sensitive to mother earth, and gain access to employment and training opportunities.
WCC have developed the compost business by participating in the Groundswell project. WCC, Condobolin, is one of three locations in rural NSW participating in Groundswell – a trial to prove the wider economic viability of the ‘City to Soil’ collection system and establish composted urban organic waste as a cost effective, high quality agricultural product.
Groundswell is a partnership project involving Goulburn Mulwaree Council, Queanbean Palerang, Queanbeyan City Council, Lachlan Council, the WCC, the Palerang Agricultural Society, Bettergrow and the South East office of the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (DCC) Sustainability Programs division, and is funded by the NSW Environment Trust.
About the Wiradjuri Nation
Known as the people of the three rivers, the Wiradjuri people have inhabited modern-day New South Wales, Australia for at least 40,000 years. At the time of European colonization, there were an estimated 3,000 Wiradjuri living in the region, representing the largest cultural footprint in the state. Their country extends from the Great Dividing Range in the east, and is bordered by the Macquarie, Lachlan and Murrumbidgee rivers. The Wiradjuri nation is the largest cultural footprint in NSW and second largest geographically in Australia.
Condobolin is the home of the Kalarie people, lower Lachlan region, and is a community at the heart of the Wiradjuri nation.
“The compressed earth bricks symbolise a generic cultural view in aboriginal Australia in that we believe, through dream time stories, that we were put on this earth to be custodians of the land, to nurture country, and that when our earthly life is no longer, we are returned to mother earth. This also symbolises that our earthly journey is completed and now our spiritual journey commences”.
Above quote and information for the above article sourced from the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation website (see www.wiradjuricondocorp.com) and conversations with Percy Knight, CEO, WCC.
RIG News is written and produced by Anthea Fawcett for RIG Network.