“A long time ago in the Dreamtime, there were no fish, so the people lived on animals, roots and berries. The Aboriginal people were very happy. That is except Boodi and Yalima; for they wanted to marry. The tribe insisted that Yalima marry one of the old men however, to look after him. Boodi and Yalima decided to run away, and so they ran as fast as they could.”

Dreamtime story art by local elders

Dreamtime story art by local elders

So begins the telling of an ancient Dreamtime story that thanks to the Maroochydoore Happy Herb shop’s participation in One Health Organisation’s social enterprise scheme, is being used to help teach young indigenous children the importance of good nutrition.

How did this happen?

After participating in an OHO social innovation forum on ethical business at The Happy Herb Company’s international conference this year, Quentin and Kelly wanted to get involved. Using some of the financial profits generated by their Maroochydore shop to capacity build the social profits of OHO’s community projects, they created a grant for the Gunawirra Project.

What’s the Gunawirra Project all about?

The Gunawirra Project is an early intervention initiative for aboriginal children under five years of age and their families. OHO collaborates on this project to help promote wellness and nutrition in indigenous families in a manner that upholds traditional cultural practices and values. The grant is funding one of the project’s ‘Five Big Ideas’.

What is this grant actually doing?

Cooking classes

Cooking classes

The generous $5000 grant created by the Maroochydore shop is funding the second of the projects ‘Five Big Ideas’ and specifically targets indigenous health via nutritional and healthy eating education.

The program is an innovative blend of cultures drawing upon engaging multimedia tools to assist in choosing healthy foods, puppets that facilitate group discussion, cooking days with mums and dads, and a bush tucker garden where healthy vegies and traditional foods can be grown on site. The final element is the use of dreamtime stories as a teaching aid and a vehicle for upholding culture.

So what happened to Boodi and Yalima in the end?

Well, to go against the Elders of the tribe is breaking the law, and they probably would be punished. Soon the men of the tribe began running after them. Boodi and Yalima ran on and on, and soon they became very tired. They came to the edge of the land, where the water began and they knew that to survive, they would have to fight. With the angry tribe descending on them, they quickly gathered wood, and made as many spears as they could. But the tribesmen were too many, and soon the spears were all gone. Boodi turned to his beloved Yalima and said, “…for us to be together forever, we must go into the water to live.” And so they did. They are still there in the shape of the Barramundi, hiding amongst the logs and reeds.