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Follow the Flowers Launch

This month Gerard and Daria attended the trademark launch of Follow the Flowers, an Outback Academy Australia (OAA) led initiative that unites First Nations and shared values regenerative farmers across Australia. The initiative has commenced in south-west Western Australia and along the fragile Murray Corridor in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

Pictured left to right: Melbourne Innovation Centre CEO (David Williamson), OAA National Business Development (Neville Atkinson) and Founder & Director of Alphington Farmers Market (Miranda Sharp), giving a speech at the launch.

The logo was designed by Priscilla, and Indigenous Business Consultants Australia (IBCA) lead Isaac Harrison with input from OAA. The logo represents the link between the pollination role of the bees in biodiversity and food sustainability as part of regenerative farming. Honey will also be a prominent product of the farmers.

Driven by OAA and collaborating farmers, Follow the Flowers products will tell the story of regenerative farming practices leading to improved environmental, social and economic outcomes with communities across Australia. Farmers are producing honey, Australian Native Wildflowers, food including bush foods, botanicals and farm-based tourism experiences.

Saltbush Relish, a product of Pandyil Farm in New South Wales.

Below: Watermelons grown at Dareton farm in New South Wales.

Lunch catered by Mullum Creations

In 2019, OAA Chairperson Leanne Miller, IBCA and GCA were fortunate to have the opportunity to introduce associates of OAA to stakeholders at the Melbourne Innovation Centre (MIC) and the Alphington Farmers Market. MIC is a business incubator, providing facilities, services, and support for the purpose of accelerating small and start-up businesses.

GCA has recently been engaged by MIC, to provide advice and services, including urban design, architectural renderings and digital visualizations for the masterplan of a Business Incubation Hub, located at the MIC Alphington site.

Snapshot of a Digital Surface Model of MIC, Alphington. GCA specializes in translating the vision of our clients into highly visual concepts including high quality renders and interactive digital visualisations.

Alphington Farmers Market is just one of the thriving businesses located at MIC. The Alphington Farmers Market is one of the many bases for the Victorian Farmers Market Association, a not-for-profit organization that connects urban communities to Victorian farmers and producers. The introduction between these groups has now flourished into a business alliance. Earlier this month the alliance was formally recognized at an official launch including a planting ceremony.

Representatives of IAMPHAT, Murray Valley Aboriginal Cooperative & Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative at the Planting Ceremony. The Planting Ceremony also represents a spiritual connection to the land.

OAA has also recently engaged GCA to design an architectural concept and surrounding urban design for OAA's Coordination, Marketing, Production and Distribution base on site in Alphington. The modular centre, designed with repurposed shipping containers, would serve as a multi-purpose space for affiliated farms to distribute products, educate and train students on First Nation culture and food propagation.

Architectural rendering of Alphington Academy Concept.

GCA is excited and also grateful to have been a part of relationship building process that has led to this beneficial outcome for all parties. As part of GCA’s commitment to foster greater understanding between groups, build working relationships and resolve conflict, GCA provides skills and expertise in consultation, mediation and the ongoing facilitation of discussions between clients and stakeholders.

Pictured left to right: OAA Executive Director (Clare O'Kelly), National Broadband Network General Manager Community (Andrea Appleby) GCA Directing Manager (Gerard Coutts) & OAA National Business Development (Neville Atkinson).

Aboriginal affairs advocate and former Carlton footballer, Syd Jackson, giving a speech.

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