Outback Spirit Foundation
The Outback Spirit Foundation was founded by Juleigh & Ian Robins with the objective and commitment to make practical economic and cultural contributions to Indigenous Australia in the growing and selling of Australian bush foods.
Juleigh and Ian are both successful chefs and restaurateurs who fell in love with bush foods in the 1980s and decided to start making their own products using bush foods under their Robins Foods brand.
In the early 2000s, finding it difficult to secure supply of wild harvested bush foods, the Robins set aside resources from the sale of bush foods to assist their Indigenous suppliers to cultivate commercial crops. This was backed up with forward commitments to supply Robins with the harvested bush foods.
The success of this sourcing support, in what is still an embryonic food supply chain, inspired the launch of Outback Spirit as a brand with Coles Supermarkets – and a longer term partnership with Coles to donate 10 cents per product sold in Coles to promote bush foods as a ‘Taste of Australia’ and to assist Indigenous suppliers within the bush food supply chain in growing their businesses.
This additional supermarket demand for bush food products, combined with funding from Coles Indigenous Food Fund, was instrumental in lifting the profile of bush foods and expanding the supply of bush foods to meet this demand.
The Outback Spirit Foundation was established to expand and embed this model with Indigenous supply partners around Australia. The Foundation continues to provide financial and market driven support to Indigenous Australians growing or supplying bush foods so that they can:
Achieve an economic return for their harvest and efforts
Access consumer goods markets using bush food ingredients
Promote the cultural significance of bush foods among the wider Australian community
Juleigh and Ian believe that broad acceptance and consumption of bush foods by all Australians, inclusive of Indigenous Australian enterprises and culture, is a form of edible reconciliation that will nourish greater cultural understanding and respect within the Australian community.
The Foundation continues to receive financial and market support from Coles to promote bush foods and help grow and develop projects like the ones identified on this site.
The Foundation is endorsed as a Public Benevolent Institution (PBI) by the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Outback Spirit Foundation is a member of, and reports to, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.