Australia

Landscape partner

Wide Open Agriculture (WOA), Danjoo Koorliny Social Impact Project at the Centre for Social Impact University of Western Australia (CSI UWA), The Noongar Land Enterprise Group, The Regional Regeneration Alliance (RRA), Sustain, RegenWA and Perth NRM, Regenfarming.news and the Carbon Farming Foundation, Impact Seed

Landscape

Western Australia

Total area (ha)

1,000,000+

Stakeholders

300+ (farmers, association members, businesses and other stakeholders)

Business cases identified or set up

20+

Active since

2015

The landscape of Western Australia is intertwined with the stewardship and history of the Noongar nation, one of the largest of the country’s Aboriginal peoples. They learned to live in harmony with the land for more than 60,000 years as moondang-ak kaaradjiny, the carers of everything. Caring for everything is the principle that animates the mission of Commonland and our partners to regenerate the landscape of Western Australia.

In some parts of Western Australia, a global biodiversity hotspot, more than 90% of the native vegetation has been lost. This creates a prime opportunity for restoration, which is led by our many West Australian partners. Our partnerships seek to bring the best of Aboriginal and Western cultures and approaches to the forefront of 4 Returns landscape restoration, in a way that considers ecological, social, and cultural harmony.

Commonland was introduced to the West Australian landscape in 2015 as a founding partner of Wide Open Agriculture (WOA). Commonland’s partnerships in the West Australian landscape have now expanded to include a wide network of partners – all with the ideal of putting people and land first when it comes to economic development.

What happened in 2021?

The world’s first listed 4 Returns business (2018), Wide Open Agriculture continued its growth with increased revenue in every quarter of 2021. Significant distribution agreements for WOA’s regenerative oat milk product, OatUP, were signed in the Middle East, Singapore and Australian supermarket chain Woolworths. Meanwhile, the Dirty Clean Food platform grew its selection of regenerative products. WOA also successfully secured A$20m (EUR 12.5m) to develop local manufacturing facilities in Western Australia to produce OatUP and lupin protein products.

A new tree nursery launched by the Noongar Land Enterprise Group in April of 2021 has already delivered 550,000 seedlings to be planted on Noongar Boodja (Country) in Western Australia. NLE now provides part-time employment to 10 people at Boola Boornap, 6 of whom are Aboriginal people.

“I have so much hope attached to this nursery and the regenerative healing it will bring to our people and our land. I hope that your plans to diversify into Ngooka Honey and bush-foods production proves successful and that you continue to be motivated by environmental, cultural and social responsibility.”

- Kim Beazley, Governor of Western Australia, at the grand-opening for the Boola Boornap nursery

The 2021 Danjoo Koorliny Social Impact Festival was another sold-out success with Lotterywest, Western Australia’s largest grant making body, coming onboard as a major supporter in 2021. Lotterywest provided a grant of almost $1 million towards Danjoo Koorliny Walking Together Towards 2029 and Beyond to contribute to this stage of the large-scale, long-term systems change project (see box).

2021 was the first year of Commonland’s formal partnership with Impact Seed, Western Australia’s leading capacity builder for impact investment and social enterprise development. Impact Seed provided business development support to seven businesses focused on landscape restoration/sustainable agriculture and three Aboriginal owned businesses. Also in 2021, Commonland continued its partnership with regenfarming.news, now part of the Carbon Farming Foundation (CFF) (see 4.3).

Commonland’s partnership with Perth NRM continued to grow in 2021 as well, through both RegenWA and the Natural Capital Accounting (NCA) programmes. RegenWA is a network of committed West Australian farmers and industry stakeholders who are identifying, implementing and sharing innovative land management practices that other farmers can adopt. The NCA programme aims to help identify how farmers can measure natural capital and how they can utilise that information in their decision making, and to communicate their environmental performance to their stakeholders.

RegenWA hosted 7 in-person events in 2021 for farmers and industry stakeholders while phase 2 of the NCA program launched with A$360,000 additional funding secured.

Dairy farmer Blythe Calnan of Runnymede Farm, supplier Dirty Clean Food.

950,000
People exposed to the opportunity of 4 Returns landscape restoration
100
Direct and indirect jobs created or supported
12,000
Hectares under improved regenerative/restoration management
3
Business cases identified or set up by landscape partners
  • 2020
  • Wheatbelt
  • 1 : 240

5-year ambition:

5,000 consumers and 10 farmers participate in new food and farm system.

5-year ambition:

Facilitate opportunities for regenerative entrepreneurship and skill development in target landscape - at least
20 trainings or farmer exchange events in collaboration with 5 long- term network partners.

5-year ambition:

Help facilitate ecosystem health regeneration, increased number of hectares under improved management (in WOA’s land portfolio and through collaboration).

5-year ambition:

Create a financially profitable 4Returns
company that can reinvest and diversify regenerative commercial ventures.

2020 Australia

  • Wheatbelt
  • 1 : 240

950,000
People exposed to the opportunity of 4 Returns landscape restoration
  • 2020
5-year ambition:

5,000 consumers and 10 farmers participate in new food and farm system.

100
Direct and indirect jobs created or supported
  • 2020
5-year ambition:

Facilitate opportunities for regenerative entrepreneurship and skill development in target landscape - at least
20 trainings or farmer exchange events in collaboration with 5 long- term network partners.

12,000
Hectares under improved regenerative/restoration management
  • 2020
5-year ambition:

Help facilitate ecosystem health regeneration, increased number of hectares under improved management (in WOA’s land portfolio and through collaboration).

3
Business cases identified or set up by landscape partners
  • 2020
5-year ambition:

Create a financially profitable 4Returns
company that can reinvest and diversify regenerative commercial ventures.

Danjoo Koorliny Walking Together in Western Australia

Danjoo Koorliny Walking Together Towards 2029 and Beyond is a bold, long-term, large-scale, Aboriginal-led systems change project to help all of us – in Western Australia, the rest of Australia, and around the world – walk together as Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to co-create a better future for all. “We have our vision set for the next 10 years, and that is to care for everything,” says Noongar Elder and Danjoo Koorliny Co-director, Dr Noel Nannup, OAM.

In 2021, the team held the once more sold-out Danjoo Koorliny Social Impact Festival in the Noongar season of Kambarang, celebrating the project’s ‘Year of Birth’. During the festival Noongar Elders and leaders met with around 200 senior leaders from across government, business, and civil society sectors in Western Australia. The Meeka Moorart Full Moon Ceremony, meanwhile, was attended by several hundred people.

“After some 200 years our children and our future generations deserve better. And you know what? So does everyone. We cannot afford to let pass the very real opportunity that now presents itself for reform, based on a fundamental change in the relationship Australia has with Aboriginal people. That opportunity, in this state, is 2029, and our collective and concerted march towards it - our shared journey, our walking together, Danjoo Koorliny.”

- Professor Emeritus Colleen Hayward, Danjoo Koorliny Co-director, in her keynote at the Festival

Impression of the 2021 Danjoo Koorliny Social Impact Festival.