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Bush Medijina: About the Makers

Bush Medijina - About the Makers

Bush Medijina Snapshot

Where: Made in Angurugu, Groote Eylandt, Northern Territory, Australia
Cultural Group: Warningakalina 
Language: Anindilyakwa
Established: 2016
Number of Workers: 23 (as of December 2019)
Demographics: All-female board, 80% of the team are Indigenous
Products: Skincare balms
Ingredients: Native bush medicine plants and organic ingredients including coconut oil, beeswax (not all products contain beeswax) and essential oils
Values: First Nations-owned, empowering women, keeping traditional knowledge alive, sustainability, education
Certifications: Some ingredients are Australian Certified Organic and USDA Organic

Australian Certified Organic Logo

"We want to grow our business from a small seed to a giant tree, so it can stay strong, just like our culture."

- Gayangwa Lalara OAM, Bush Medijina Deputy Chair

Gayangwa Lalara OAM, Bush Medijina Deputy Chair

Photo: Gayangwa Lalara OAM, Bush Medijina Deputy Chair

Empowering First Nations Women

Bush Medijina is a First Nations-led skincare social enterprise based in Groote Eylandt, Northern Territory. The business was created out of the desire of Warningakalina Elders to help support and empower local women in the Groote Eylandt community, and to preserve and engage with traditional cultural knowledge. Led by an all-female board, 80% of the Bush Medijina team are First Nations women. The women say that going to work helps give them a break from the challenges their community faces such as family violence, poor physical and mental health, lack of education and other social issues. One of the biggest concerns for the community is their young people, so Bush Medijina runs a work experience program for school-aged girls. Profits from product sales help fund advocacy and social change initiatives for the workers and their community.

"Our traditional knowledge comes from our connection to our land, native botanicals, our ancestors, and our stories.  We have been using our bush knowledge and medicines to heal ourselves for generations.  We want to lift our indigenous people and others up so that we can be stronger and healthier together."

- Bush Medijina

Native Botanicals

Bush medicine has been used by Indigenous people for generations to treat ailments such as congestion and muscle aches. Bush Medijina balms contain a number of different native plants including Dumburumba (Native Sandalwood), Mamarra (Small Leaved Paperbark), Mawilyaburna (Liniment Tree), Merrika (Broad Leaved Wattle) and Mamaburra (Wild Peach Tree). The botanicals are hand-harvested by the women in Groote Eylandt and then made into beautiful balms in the Bush Medijina work room, a humble set up described by Chairperson, Serena Bara as "a little shed with a big heart."


Left: Mamarra (Small Leaved Paperbark) Right: Merrika (Broad Leaved Wattle)

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You can support these makers by purchasing Bush Medijina skincare here.