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Around the World in Fairtrade Communities, coffee supports economic sustainability for these Communities. The very essence of their livelihood is premised on protecting their environment and especially the indigenous and other forests in which their sustainable coffee crop grows.

In the coffee lands, poverty prevails, ensuring exhaustive stresses within families and communities. This is the game played out annually and daily. In Australia, we have not too dissimilar circumstances within our Indigenous Communities.

Sport in our large country, dominates much of our attitudes and energies…often over a cup of coffee.

It was refreshing to bring these energies together at Shepparton recently for the Champions for Change Forum.


Here the issues did not revolve around the injury list of star players. The presentations here were about how sports people, entities and supporters, can support other members of our Community who are injured or disabled in their endeavour to find meaning and substance in their lives.

The many and varied inspiring speakers, including Clare O’Kelly and Brad Ness from Outback Academy, placed a new emphasis on help and support for our youth, and especially Indigenous youth, around Australia.


Highlighted, were programs from Sporting Clubs, Government and Private Companies. All the programs focussed on changes needed and changes in place…thanks often to the many sports champions past and present.


With our Red Dust the Coffee Project, in partnership with Outback Academy, Jasper Coffee was at Shepparton to support this landmark Forum. Our re-caffeination program over 2 days kept participants alive, alert and active, to help them maintain the vigilance and endurance over the long journey of voluminous words, slides and graphs.

Our Red Dust project was met with high acclaim from all those who sipped from the sustainability platform it offers.

Through the healing programs conducted by the Red Dust Wheelers and Healers, and with coffees from 6  Fairtrade communities ,protected within their environments, the word Sustainability has substance indeed…which is why Jasper Coffee was at Shepparton.


So it is no surprise that we continued this support through the local Yorta Yorta Community in partnership with Tallis Wines at Dookie on Saturday 5th March.

On the Tallis property, a new conservation trail was launched…even in 40 deg heat. This is a regional first partnership between  local Indigenous traditional landholders and a private company.


As Alice Tallis says, “The Tallis Family has protected this rocky outcrop in perpetuity with a Trust for Nature Conservation Covenant, to ensure that the existing environment and Yorta Yorta cultural values are protected forever.”

Just outside Dookie, the Yorta Yota people continue to exercise their natural rights as Indigenous owners of country. The relationship with country has continued from time immemorial. The spirit of this relationship to land is embedded within the partnership with Tallis Winery.


Today, the original vegetation of the region survives largely in isolated pockets or on road reserves. As a significant act of preservation of native flora and fauna, Tallis Winery has harnessed and annexed the 4 remaining sites of the critically endangered native Rock Correa.

This plant, all too common as a low ground cover in domestic gardens, has been growing in these rocky outcrops on the Tallis property, for around 300 years. However, in these protected environments, the shrub grows to approximately 1.5 mts.

In her presentation  at this launch, Alice Tallis spoke with inspiration for the new relationship between the National Landcare Program, the Trust for Nature, the Yorta Yorta traditional land owners and Tallis Wines, when she said, “We are all one. We recognise what has happened in the past but we are now able to go forward in the future where the land is shared by all”

So, on a very 40 deg hot Saturday, around 70 people braved the scorch and mounted the rocky outcrop on the Tallis property and listened to the knowledge and wisdom  of Neville Atkinson and Gaye Sutherland as they spread the words of history from both perspectives of the Yorta Yorta people and the endeavours of European settlement. High above the ancient wetlands, vast plains and modern winery, where once stood forests jumping with abundant food for all, the now remote vestiges of this humble Rock Correa (Correa Glabra) and Light Wood trees are still here to be shared by all. The trail to the top of the rocky outcrop is open.

Jasper Coffee supplied the necessary caffeine through the Red Dust the Coffee blend, at the Winery throughout the weekend, as part of our support of the conservation of this native plant and the launch of this new trail and partnership.