Mike and Gayle Quarmby, since 2001, have planted over 500,000 bushfood plants on Aboriginal community sites which are spread mainly over the central area of Australia. Over 750,000km have been travelled by the Quarmbys, and that - together with thousands of hours of freely given hard, hot and dusty work - has been the essence of this journey.

This Outback Pride project has been largely funded by Mike and Gayle in collaboration with State and Federal funding bodies. The objective of the project has been the development of horticultural skills on remote Aboriginal communities using positive ethical and environmental principles, with community health and wellbeing as the measurable outcome.

Together with the work at community level, there has been an equal amount of research and development undertaken back at Reedy Creek in the areas of:

  • Species location mapping and best provenance selection;
  • Propagation systems developed from both seed and cutting;
  • Life cycle analysis and commercial cultivation systems developed;
  • Identification of commercially viable species;
  • Harvest and post-harvest research on all produce;
  • Skills development and training of participants at community level and at Reedy Creek Nursery;
  • Value adding of raw ingredients; and
  • Market network including state Indigenous distributors.

Community Bush Food Production Gardens

Production plots have been established on the following communities since 2001:

  • Hidden Valley - Alice Springs (NT)
  • Intjartnama - Hermannsburg (NT)
  • NAPA - Moonta (SA)
  • Manunka - Walkers Flat (SA)
  • TPY - Murray Bridge (SA)
  • Larapinta - Alice Springs (NT)
  • Anthepe - Alice Springs (NT)
  • Kooniba - Ceduna (SA)
  • Emu Farm - Ceduna (SA)
  • Munda and Wanna Ma - Ceduna (SA)
  • Dinahline - Ceduna (SA)
  • Dundee - Ceduna (SA)
  • DPI (NT)
  • Research Plantings - Alice Springs (NT)
  • Nepabunna - Flinders Ranges (SA)
  • Myrtle Springs - Flinder Ranges (SA)
  • Yappala - Flinders Ranges (SA)
  • Bookyana - Pt Victoria (SA)
  • Meningie Church Block - Meningie (SA)
  • Burrandies - Mt Gambier (SA)
  • Adelaide CDEP - Angle Vale (SA)
  • Ceduna Transitional Accommodation Facility - Town Camp (SA)
  • Mimili - APY Lands (SA)
  • Amata - APY Lands (SA)
  • Renmark High School - Indigenous student program (SA)

Assistance with project planning and feasibility studies have been carried out for the following communities;

  • Wilcannia (NSW)
  • Pukatja - Ernabella - APY Lands (SA)
  • Menindee Lakes (NSW)
  • Swan Hill (VIC)
  • Leonora (WA)
  • Laverton (WA)
  • Warburton (WA)
  • Gerard (SA)
  • Warrena (NSW)
  • Yugembeh (QLD)
  • Teeluk - Kingston (SA)
  • Davenport - Pt. Augusta (SA)
  • Pt Germain - Port Pirie (SA)

Plant species selections for these sites has been made in conjunction with community elders, historical documents and natural vegetation surveys. This information has been balanced against commercial viability and environmental factors.

The success of this project has been hinged on the commitment of the individual communities involved and the relevant government support systems available for participants.