Welcome to First Hand Solutions Newsletter 2022

CEO’s Message

Hello everyone. Well, what a year it’s been so far for us with our Blak Markets going great on Bare Island and potentially going ahead in the Rocks later this year. I’m thrilled to see many of our small businesses who work at the markets come through a difficult few years with flying colours.

I’m also excited about the National Indigenous Art Fair going ahead from 2-3 July at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay. The fair kicks off NAIDOC week in Sydney, and I feel there's no better way to immerse yourself in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture than by visiting the art fair and purchasing works from remote art centres and artists. Our artists hail from some of the most remote communities in Australia, with some travelling for up to three days just to attend the event!

With autumn well underway, it’s a great time to visit IndigiGrow so you can pick up any native species that should be planted at this time of year and take advantage of the cooler autumn temperatures.

The cooler months are a great time to start planting your gardens out when the plants are not heat stressed, but they will need protection when heavy frosts occur. So, why don’t you drop in for a yarn with our friendly staff about your needs and pick up some quality plants to spice up your garden?

In other IndigiGrow news, our Aboriginal apprentices are helping revive the critically endangered Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub (ESBS) eco-system by monitoring shrubs, flowers and trees on country and growing many of the species in our nursery to replant in the community. At IndigiGrow, we’re particularly interested in preserving the critically endangered green and pink five corners (Styphelia viridis and Styphelia trifloral, respectively). You can read more about our project in this edition.

Growing five corners is our most important work, but we have many other plant projects on the go in the nursery and bushfood farm. For example, we’re also cultivating the critically endangered Snow Wreath (Woollsia pungens), a stunning white floral with prickly leaves. Growing ESBS species is part of our ongoing ‘caring for country work.’

Speaking of caring for country, IndigiGrow is now taking orders for NAIDOC Week. We can provide customers with native shrubs, bushfood plants and seed or herb packets for celebrations. IndigiGrow staff are also available to speak at NAIDOC events.

If you’re preparing for NAIDOC celebrations, email orders.indigigrow@gmail.com or ring us on 0439 327 933. But please get in touch early as NAIDOC Week is hugely busy for us.

Lastly, I’d like to acknowledge the hard work all of our staff are doing so we provide the best events, experiences, products and services we possibly can. Without the dedication and commitment of our senior staff and apprentices, we simply couldn’t achieve our mission.

Peter Cooley

Chief Executive Officer