Image by Jim Carroll

Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science

Together for good

Together with SingularityU Australia, Food Futures presents a conversation addressing  how Australia's sustainable future depends on respecting ancient knowledge and applying learnings to modern science and technology. 

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Australia's wealth of native food has evolved over thousands of years in partnership with its People and Country. Today, Australia’s ethnography is vastly different to how it once was, and native food still has a vital role to play. But that will only be possible if ancient wisdom and modern science walk hand in hand. 

How Australia works with the Native food sector can influence major global issues of health and environmental decline. Through traditional kinship systems and modern technology, increased adoption of Native Food can start to heal both Country and people. It’s critical that the traditional wisdom that’s associated with these ingredients is an ongoing industry pillar and appropriate respect for Traditional knowledge and  benefit sharing protocols are followed as well as ethical value chains are built. For this to be maintained, the current industry’s indigenous participation rate of 2% must increase significantly.

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“Respecting Ancient Knowledge”

Meet the panel

Dale Tilbrook

Native Food Specialist, Gather Foods

Dale is a Wardandi Bibbulmun woman, and her traditional country is around Busselton, Margaret River, and Augusta in the south west of Western Australia. For the past 25 years she has been operating businesses in the Aboriginal Tourism Sector. She is a long-term member and Vice Chair of WAITOC, and on the board of the Swan Chamber of Commerce and previously sat on the now disbanded Swan Valley Planning Committee.

Dale is always foremost promoting the participation of Aboriginal people in all aspects of business but particularly in her specialist fields of tourism and bushfood. She is often called on to participate in working groups such as Food Tourism by Tourism Western Australia and others.

 

In September 2016 she attended Terra Madre in Italy on behalf of Slow Food Swan Valley and gave a taste workshop on Australian Native Edibles, helped prepare an Australia on a Plate lunch and presented at the Indigenous Terra Madre forum. She also has a background in department store buying, merchandising and marketing both in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Dr Angela Pattison

Project Leader and Agricultural Scientist,
Grasslands for Grain and University of Sydney

Following on the hypothesis of Bruce Pascoe in his award winning book “Dark Emu: Agriculture or Accident?”, and other similar works, the Sydney Institute of Agriculture funded a multi-faculty project investigating whether native grains are economically, environmentally and socially sustainable in modern Gomeroi country. This region of NWNSW, which used to be grasslands managed by fire, currently exports millions of tonnes of grain, cotton and cattle every year using efficient technology and high levels of intervention on the natural landscape.

Growing up in suburban Sydney, Angela studied agriculture because of a desire to help increase food production in the world. Her first research project was on kutjera or bush tomato. She has over 12 years experience as a plant breeder and field–based researcher on a number of food crops, including wheat, field pea, chickpea and triticale. She believes passionately in the connection between people and their land, and is seeking to build connections between the scientific understanding of the world and the economic, social and cultural factors which influence the way in which we live in it to provide sustainable food and connection to country for all. She currently resides with her husband and daughter in Narrabri, Northwest NSW, and is honoured to be working with traditional custodians of Gomeroi Country on the Indigenous Grasslands for Grain project.

Read the Native Grains Report here. 

Dr Christine Pitt

Founder, Food Futures Company

Food Futures Company founder, Dr Christine Pitt is a globally recognised thought leader, investor and entrepreneur in the ag+food tech ecosystem. She has a particular interest in building globally networked agrifood ecosystems and supporting disruptors who use innovation across the value chain. As co-founder of Food Futures Company and director for Australian Native Food & Botanicals (ANFAB), Christine is passionate about growing the native food sector to ensure an ethical supply chain and a sustainable future for Australia.

When she isn’t dialing in to connect with her Australian counterparts at Food Futures Company or Farmers2Founders, Christine is making waves as co-founder of GROW. Grow is a fund-backed accelerator and is a joint venture partnership with US and Singapore based venture capital firm AgFunder.

Lawrence Mitchell

Co-founder, Finding Equilibrium

Lawrence's career has included senior role in corporate marketing, workplace wellbeing and entrepreneurial leadership in London, Chicago and Sydney. His extensive experience in strategy, M&A, product innovation, programme design, customer and employee engagement, digital marketing and events provided Lawrence the insights to a system to supporting  performance, immunity and mental resilience. The result is Finding EQUILIBRIUM.

Today, Lawrence works with individuals, teams and brands around the world, running learning programmes, virtual events, wellness festivals and publications, all designed to guide individuals and teams to Find EQUILIBRIUM through periods of rapid change and uncertainty. 

Lawrence will be facilitating on behalf of SingularityU Australia.