The Kimberley Community Seedbank (KCS) is a not-for-profit social enterprise that promotes good revegetation practices, supports conservation and management activities, and provides an avenue for community groups to make an economic return. It is also a resource hub.
What we do
Since 2015, the Seedbank has worked with community groups and Aboriginal ranger teams to collect local seed. Our purpose is to share knowledge of, and grow Kimberley plants, broaden community awareness of restoration practices and threats to biodiversity, and facilitate training and development opportunities across the Kimberley.
The goals of the Seedbank are to:
- develop and grow sustainable social enterprise for seeds and bush resources products
- expand knowledge and help people access skills and training
- preserve and conserve threatened plant species
- sustainably harvest and manage seed stocks
- provide a meeting point for buyers and sellers of seed and bush resource products.
We assist communities and local groups with training in, and information about, collecting, storing, cleaning and propagating viable native seed.
The Seedbank works with many Aboriginal groups and combines Aboriginal ecological knowledge with Western science.
We have worked with the Bardi Jawi Oorany (BJO), Nyul Nyul, Karajarri and Nyangumarta Rangers, Yawuru Country Managers and the Yiriman Women’s Enterprise Development Program to collect seed, rehabilitate degraded areas of their country, develop nursery skills, and explore sustainable economic opportunities.
The Seedbank has facilitated seed-collection training for Aboriginal rangers on Country and in commercial and educational settings, as well as practical work experiences in operating a commercial and community-based nursery and seedbank.
Many of the rangers now grow plants in their own nursery. The nurseries and Seedbank work hand-in-hand to safeguard local plants against feral animals, invasive weeds, fire, development and climate change.
The Seedbank is also supporting rangers and other Aboriginal groups to develop business plans, and initiate product trials and marketing to support seed sales and product development.
Aboriginal rangers in the Kimberley have come together to collect and sell seeds from their Country to the home gardener. The seed packets have been created as souvenirs and gifts.
The project raises awareness of the work the rangers do to protect native plants, animals and ecosystems, by controlling feral animals and invasive weeds, reducing the risk of dangerous wildfires, limiting the impact of tourism, and maintaining cultural sites. Rangers also work with Elders to keep cultural practices and traditional knowledge alive and strong in their communities.
As a result, the rangers have also gained experience in business development and receive profits from the sale of the products. You can purchase Kimberley Seeds here.
Led by Aboriginal rangers and their Elders, the wattleseed harvest is steeped in the enjoyment of being on Country, harvesting a traditional food resource, and being together with family, friends and colleagues. The Wattleseed Collective evolved from a desire to tie together activities that support wellbeing, intergenerational sharing, and the development of sustainable economic opportunities for Aboriginal people and communities.
In 2022, we trialled a modest seed collection with four Traditional Owner groups and now have sufficient commercial-scale product to approach potential buyers, and secure orders for 2023.
In the process of developing seed collection and cleaning, and supporting people to collect a quality wattleseed product, we are forming a social enterprise model. This model will see profits return to the collectors, and pay for equipment, facilities and the systems that maintain a viable community-based enterprise. Read more about the wattleseed harvest here.
We have collaborated with the Bardi Jawi Oorany, Nyul Nyul, Karajarri, Nyangumarta Ranger groups, Kimberley Land Council, Karajarri Traditional Lands Association, Nyamba Buru Yawuru, Yamatji Marla Aboriginal Corporation, Nyangumarta Warrarn Aboriginal Corporation, North Regional TAFE, the Society for Kimberley Indigenous Plants and Animals (SKIPA) and Yiriman Women’s Bush Enterprises.