Activating the Conservation Economy is one of Environs Kimberley’s (EK) four strategic goals. With the support of Impact Seed, EK initiated the Social Enterprise pilot in 2019 to identify realistic, practical, and sustainable alternatives to destructive industries.

In 2021, Lotterywest backed EK's Social Enterprise Project; ‘Establishing Foundations for a Kimberley Conservation Economy’.  This first-stage project focused on incubating concepts, deep consultation with First Nations partners, and reflecting on our collective abilities and capacity. We set out to respond to the needs of the community, and build capabilities and trust. The project has allowed us to upskill and share knowledge, identify sustainable enterprise pathways, and enter key partnerships for success.


The Sustainable Communities Team scoped various initiatives ranging from tourism, consulting, and bush resources to identify viable first-step social enterprises.

Through consultative processes, EK extended support to Aboriginal Ranger groups, community groups and community members, providing access to training and equipment, gave practical assistance, and adapted social enterprise resources for Kimberley people.

Enterprises supported through the Social Enterprise Project:

  • The Wattleseed Collective
  • Kimberley Community Seedbank projects including Kimberley Seeds
  • Aboriginal small business entrepreneur, Microps
  • Nature Projects Australia
  • Yiriman Women’s Bush Knowledge Enterprises.

We also extended the diversity, skills and capability of EK; creating a new Aboriginal-identified position, and providing targeted coaching and professional development for staff.

What people are saying

‘Collecting Wattleseed alongside family and other community members has not only provided me with an opportunity to connect deeply with my culture and Country but has also allowed me to earn a meaningful income.’ Karajarri Traditional Owner

‘This work is crucial in creating viable and sustainable enterprise success at a local level’ Aboriginal corporation

‘The more this project grows the more benefits it will produce locally and nationally. It contributes to caring for and healing Country, practising and strengthening Culture, and nourishing and building Community.’ First Nations social enterprise partner

What we have been doing

Development of the Wattleseed Collective

Building on previous work of the Social Enterprise Project, we continued to work with Aboriginal Ranger groups, communities and individuals to establish the Wattleseed Collective, a not-for-profit community-based social enterprise carrying out sustainable harvesting and sale of Kimberley wattleseed by and for the benefit of First Nations people.

 Wattleseed Collective logo

Together we have developed an action plan, business plan, financial model, and collective model, for the emerging enterprise.

Collectors were engaged from Nyangumarta Rangers (facilitated by Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation), Karajarri Rangers (facilitated by Karajarri Traditional Lands Association), Bardi Jawi and Nyul Nyul Rangers (facilitated by the Kimberley Land Council), Yawuru Country Managers (facilitated by Nyamba Buru Yawuru), Yiriman Women Bush Knowledge Enterprises (facilitated by the Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre), Nyamba Buru Yawuru and North Regional TAFE’s Sustainable employment program, the Society for Kimberley Indigenous Plants and Animals (SKIPA), community members, and other individuals and families from across the Kimberley, who combined their efforts to harvest wattleseed in the 2022 and 2023 harvest seasons.

Together, with EK, collectors harvested 40 kgs of wattleseed in 2022, and 140 kgs in 2023. This combined effort enabled us to secure commercial markets for Wattleseed Collective seed, and to develop a co-branded product with First Nations Social Enterprise Native Foodways.

Collective members then worked together to clean, roast, grind and package seed to create the Wattleseed Collective’s first pilot product - roasted and ground wattleseed - which is now available for sale on the EK Shop.

Key achievements:

  • Co-design and regular review of the Collective enterprise model, financial model, business plan, processes and protocols, brand, and product development.
  • Co-design and creation of the Wattleseed Collective logo and brand based on beautiful, commissioned artwork by Karajarri artist Anita Kitty.
  • Development of industry networks and securing of ethical sales channels.
  • Contracting of Traditional Owners to coordinate seed collecting field trips with Collectors.
  • Expansion of skills and experience in seed collecting, cleaning and processing, of more than 80 Collectors in the West Kimberley.
  • Distribution of seed collecting kits to groups and individuals.
  • Production of guidelines for best-practice harvesting and cleaning.
  • Promotion and provision of seasonal income opportunities for remote communities.
  • Two pilot products now available for sale, with more scheduled to be distributed back to First Nations communities as a healthy traditional food.

Artist, Anita Kitty with the Wattleseed Collective’s first product

Artist, Anita Kitty with the Wattleseed Collective’s first product.

Kimberley Community Seedbank and Kimberley Seeds

We have collaborated with three ranger groups to collect and sell seeds from their Country, under the Kimberley Seeds brand.

     Kimberley Community Seedbank logo  

The project worked with Yawuru Country Managers, Bardi Jawi Oorany Rangers and Karajarri Rangers to:

  • Identify culturally appropriate species suitable for sale
  • Identify seasonality and location for the collection of seed
  • Build skills in collecting, cleaning and storing viable seed
  • Co-design and produce packaging that meets the cultural needs of the group and appeals to potential buyers
  • Provide experiential training and support in business development, market research and business planning
  • Co-design and adapt business models and plans
  • Facilitate Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property workshop with experts from UNSW
  • Apply ‘Cultural Protocols’ as a condition of sale for seed products
  • Provide trees and assist Karajarri Rangers with planting a bush-tucker garden on Karajarri Country.

    Kimberley Seeds logo

The seed packets are available for sale at the EK Courthouse Market stall and in the EK Shop.

We also established a Memorandum of Collaboration (MoC) with Australian Seedbank Partnership, which will provide further opportunities for people to receive benefits from seed collecting.

Yawuru Niminy packets

Nature Projects Australia (NPA)

Trading since 2015, EK’s not-for-profit consulting arm, Nature Projects Australia, has provided project lifecycle support to Aboriginal organisations, attracting almost seven million dollars in funding for those groups, directed toward conservation and cultural heritage projects.

Nature Projects Australia logo

NPA has facilitated significant social, cultural, environmental, economic and community capacity-building, supporting the development of sustainable, rather than destructive, regional economies. This work has amplified EK’s impact within communities, enhancing the protection of Country and cultural heritage, while also enabling EK to generate a sustainable income that is not directly tied to grants or philanthropy.

The Social Enterprise Project enabled EK to work on refining the scope and structure of NPA, develop a business plan, a fair and ethical fee structure, a risk assessment process, a service agreement template, and a financial model that further enhances EK’s ability to protect the nature of the Kimberley.

Supporting Aboriginal small business entrepreneurs

The Social Enterprise Project allowed the resources to provide support for Aboriginal-owned and run small business, Microps.

Microps, a Broome-based microgreens business, received support from the Social Enterprise project to undertake business planning to pivot to a sustainable social enterprise business model, refine branding and market strategies and undertake business mindset mentoring and monitoring, and evaluation training.

'The support I received from Environs Kimberley was truly transformational, not only for my business but for myself as a person. I was given the freedom to choose what areas of support I felt I needed with my business, which was extremely empowering and progressive. Thanks to all the support, I am taking the next step in the evolution of my grander vision and purpose.' Tahnee Carter, Microps.

Building Skills and Capacity within the Sustainable Communities Team

The Social Enterprise project provided resources to build diversity and increase the skills and capability of the Sustainable Communities Team to operate more effectively within the social enterprise space.

Some of the training and skills development accessed by our team and others were: Business mindset coaching, Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property (UNSW), Outcomes Measurement (Centre for Social Impact), First Nations business development workshop, Social Enterprise Masterclass (co-Lab), Facilitation and Conflict Resolution (Planning with Communities).

Two of our staff received scholarships, one for a Diploma of Governance (ICDA) and one for an MBA through the Australian Leadership Hub. Extending our skills and expertise in these areas is now helping us to guide the development of social enterprise and enhance the supports we can offer to others through the Sustainable Communities Team, and via Nature Projects Australia.

We also engaged with others and built our networks through participation in the Social Enterprise World Forum 2022 and the Accelerating Wattle Seed Industry Forum, and spent time with experienced bushfood industry professionals like Aunty Dale Tillbrook.

We provided direct resourcing support to Yiriman Women Bush Knowledge Enterprises at the Strong Women’s Business Gathering 2022 and engaged in and delivered soap-making workshops to other First Nations women at the Gumbanan Cultural Camp.

Soap making at Gambanan Cultural Camp

Kiarna and Eddina Badal assist Mandy and Jacko Shovellor at a workshop making soap at Gambanan Cultural Camp, September 2022. Photo by Robyn Wells, Yiriman Women Bush Knowledge Enterprises.


The Social Enterprise Project culminated in the publication of two best-practice guides to assist people to sustainably collect and clean wattleseed:

The Social Enterprise Project has also produced a series of promotional posters to enable people, especially in remote communities, to learn about and make money from wattleseed collection:

Links to interviews and media

The magic of a wattle harvest, Environs Kimberley

The Wattleseed Collective prepares for this year’s harvest, Environs Kimberley

Wattle we eat? by Tamieka Preston, Northern Valleys News, 3 July 2023

Expanding the wattleseed harvest, Environs Kimberley

Screenwriter Azie Dungey hit the wall during the Hollywood writers' strike and found solace in outback WA by Mya Kordic, ABC Kimberley, posted 28 January 2024


The resources listed below were developed or collated as part of the Social Enterprise Project, and are available for public use. If you would like any further assistance with these resources, please get in touch with the Sustainable Communities Team.

  • Social Enterprise Business Plan Template [PDF] gives your business direction, defines your objectives, maps out how you'll achieve your goals and helps you to manage possible bumps in the road. 
  • Simple Action Plan Template [Excel spreadsheet] helps keep you on track to achieving your goals.
  • Social Enterprise Financial Model Template [Excel spreadsheet] helps you make financial decisions such as pricing and how much you will earn.
  • Outcomes Measurement and Evaluation Resources are a collection of external resources that will help you keep track of how your business is running, how well it is making its intended impact, and if you are achieving your bigger goals.

Planning session Wattleseed Collective


2021 - 2024


Nyamgumarta Rangers, Yamtji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation, Karajarri, Bardi Jawi Rangers, Nyul Nyul Rangers, Kimberley Land Council, Yawuru Country Managers, Nyamba Buru Yawuru, Yiriman Women Bush Knowledge Enterprises, Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, North Regional TAFE, the Society for Kimberley Indigenous Plants and Animals (SKIPA), Native Foodways, Tuckerbush, Spinifex Brewing, Australian Seedbank Partnership


Lotterywest logo  Foundation for Regional Renewal logo  National Landcare Program logo  State Natural Resource Management Program logo   Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development logo

The Social Enterprise Project is possible with support from Lotterywest. Other resourcing supports for project activities came from the Foundation for Rural Regional Renewal, the Australian Government National Landcare Program, the Western Australian Government's State Natural Resource Management Project, and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, as well as through charitable donations from the public.

For more information, contact

Sustainable Communities Team ([email protected])


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