Monday, 11 April 2016
Charles Darwin University
RIEL Research Fellow and PhD candidate Julian Gorman
RIEL Research Fellow and PhD candidate Julian Gorman

Researcher to promote Kakadu plum potential

By Katie Weiss

A Charles Darwin University researcher will promote a native bushfood as an emerging North Australian industry that can benefit Indigenous livelihoods, at an upcoming conference in Darwin.

Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods Research Fellow Julian Gorman will offer attendees a taste of the Kakadu plum at an information stall for the 2016 Northern Australia Food Futures Conference.

Mr Gorman said it has been recorded that Indigenous people across Northern Australia had been using the fruit for many thousands of years as a source of food and medicine.

He said there was a big market demand for the fruit based on its exceptional Vitamin C and antioxidant properties.

Mr Gorman is part of a consortium of researchers, practitioners and industry stakeholders who are creating a model to supply the market demand, from the wild harvested, and later to the cultivated, fruit.

“This involves setting up regional collection centres in Aboriginal communities and townships across Northern Australia with central processing hubs to develop products and deal with markets,” Mr Gorman said.

He said a collection centre was already established in Wadeye, south of Darwin, and was hosted by the Palngun Wurnangat Association Inc.

“In previous years they have had as many as 300 community members registered to pick, with authority from relevant Traditional Owners, and are expected to pick more than 4000 kg of the fruit this season,” Mr Gorman said.

He has been involved in helping to develop Indigenous enterprises in the Kakadu plum industry for the past 15 years. He is also a CDU PhD candidate, studying the reproductive biology of the Kakadu plum.

The conference, hosted by the NT Famers Association, will run from today (April 11) until April 13. For more information, visit W: ntfarmers.org.au/food-futures