Water Corporation North West Regional Manager Sharon Broad with Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation Chief Executive Neil Gower

The last seedling has been planted under a partnership between Water Corporation and Broome’s Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) to create a native superfood orchard that will deliver training and employment opportunities to young people in the region.

More than 890 gubinge seedlings have been planted to date on 200ha of Water Corporation land leased free-of-charge to MAC in 2019.

In the next 10 years, the orchard could accommodate more than 43,000 gubinge trees, and allow MAC to capitalise on export opportunities to emerging markets.

Otherwise known as Kakadu plum, gubinge is sought after for its antibacterial and antiviral properties and contains more than 100 times the Vitamin C content of an orange.

The project also received some federal funding as well as $100,000 under the WA Government’s Regional Economic Development Grants Program for research into effective germination and growth practices.

MAC Chief Executive Neil Gower hailed the inaugural planting as a landmark moment for the Corporation, saying it was now focussed on supply chain opportunities domestically and abroad.

“This is an incredibly exciting moment that will pave the way for export opportunities, as well as provide training and employment to young people in the Kimberley,” Mr Gower said.

“We know there is growing demand for gubinge as more people become aware of its nutritional benefits and its use in cosmetics and other products.

“The challenge now lies in establishing viable markets to capitalise on the major social and economic opportunities on offer. From there, we’ll explore whether we can expand the orchard to also grow and supply other native fruits.”

The gubinge plantation is the latest in an ongoing partnership between MAC and Water Corporation.


In 2016, land at Water Corporation’s Broome North Wastewater Treatment Plant was leased to MAC for a native and endangered tree seed bank. The project, which used recycled water from the treatment plant, saw more than 6,000 native trees grown from seedlings to revegetate mine sites and other cleared land across the Kimberley.


The seedbank and gubinge projects have also helped MAC provide accredited training in horticulture, irrigation, civil works and the use of farm machinery to 135 young people in the region.


Water Corporation North West Regional Manager Sharon Broad said the utility was committed to doing its part to create economic, employment and social opportunities for Aboriginal people.


“We’re really proud of our partnership with Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation because it demonstrates what can be achieved by working together to address social and economic disadvantage in practical ways,” Ms Broad said. 


“Our people are part of communities across the Kimberley, so projects and partnerships like this are very close to home.

“We look forward to seeing how the orchard matures and to partnering with MAC and other Traditional Owners long into the future.”


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Kate Duff

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