About us

The greatest good for the greatest number and Country. Leave no-one behind.

Our story

How we got here

Outback Academy Australia (OAA) was born at Roelands Village (a former mission) in SW Western Australia.

AFL football legend and former resident of the mission, Syd Jackson reached out to his Eastern Seaboard friends in 2010 to support his mission brothers and sisters. The Roelands Village Elders were focused on building economic and social outcomes from the site which had been purchased in 2004 by the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC).

Economic and social outcomes are requirements for divestment from the ILC. Elders were facing many challenges, and Syd’s East and Western Seaboard friends rallied to assist, initially under the banner of the Networked Communities for Sustainable Futures, followed by the East West Alliance.

Today they are known as the Follow the Flowers alliance-based regenerative farming business movement in 2020.

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Our model

Why an alliance-based business?

In 2013 Outback Academy Australia was officially formed as a not-for-profit majority led Aboriginal organisation. In 2014 the OAA leadership team put a proposition to the SW WA Economic Development Forum, based on the Fairtrade business model:

“What if we collaborated rather than compete as an ethical and authentic supply chain movement?”

Outback Academy had a close relationship with Australia’s first Fairtrade coffee company owner Wells Trenfield, Jasper Coffee. The leadership team could see the benefits of alliance-based supply chain business, particularly for those seeking to break a cycle of poverty and dependence on others for economic, social, cultural and environmental change.

First Nations farmers had few resources or the total expertise needed to drive agricultural and horticultural business to scale. Farmers were also seeking sustainable commercialisation that would regenerate Country and communities – regenerative farming. Many were concerned about the use of traditional ecological knowledge and cultural product in commercialisation for example, bush foods and botanicals – a market dominated by non-Aboriginal business owners.

Consultations with Murray Corridor landholders followed in 2017-18. Aspirations and barriers to progressing business were similar, and a sense of urgency was also expressed about the need to drive significant economic, social and environmental change as the Murray Corridor is one of the most fragile environments in the nation.

Today farmers in four states (WA, SA, NSW and Victoria) work in a co-design and collaboration model with Outback Academy under the trademark Follow the Flowers. Farmers are committed to a national movement and supply chain that is successful in business while repairing Country, and creating economic and employment opportunities from the farms they operate as an authentic, Aboriginal led business movement. Read more about the Follow the Flowers Business Movement and Farmers.


Our vision

The future we're creating

Thriving Country Thriving Communities

Our values

The qualities that define us


We bring respect for people and Country to all our business and relationships.


We always ask what is the right thing to do? We aim to bring integrity, honesty and alignment between our words and actions.


We believe we can achieve more together with shared values partners, than alone.


We engage our hearts and heads in all our relationships, making sure we leave no-one behind.


Here's what we do

We work on the ground with Aboriginal farmers to build capacity and capabilities for alliance-based and scaled-up agricultural and horticultural regenerative farming business. Farmers are also building farm-based tourism activities and other related business.

All farmers are building opportunities for young people and others seeking a hand-up into employment or enterprise establishment. This includes people with disability, young people in out of home care, and others who may seek a reset on farm for improved educational, employment, health, social and emotional wellbeing outcomes.

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Who buys from us?

Our buyers are interested in supporting ethical, alliance-based regenerative farmers, honey and flowers producers. They are seeking products that are regenerating Country and communities, including in the face of climate change, food sustainability issues, and extreme weather events. They also want to contribute to improved social conditions in the communities and regions where Follow the Flowers and related business activities are occurring.

Additional ventures

Other work we do

We also provide consultancy services to businesses and organisations in the areas of workforce development, inclusive work practices, capacity and capability building, cross-cultural training, Reconciliation Action Plans, disability employment plans, disability awareness and community engagement programs.

Our Red Dust Heelers are regularly requested to support community engagement programs, Corporate speaking events and team building activities where Companies and agencies are building more inclusive workplace practices and opportunities for employment.

These services assist us to keep our Follow the Flowers and Red Dust Heelers initiatives active on the ground, including where some communities require assistance to start up engagement with us.

Our Work
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Our partners + supporters

We're supported by a range of organisations

All our partners and supporters are highly valued. They include Allens Lawyers, Indigenous Business Australia, the West Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council, the Tri State NRM Alliance, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development WA, the Murray Darling Basin Economic Development Program, Odonata Foundation, Kabo Lawyers, AESOP, CSIRO, CP Foods, Veolia, the Melbourne Innovation Centre and Melbourne Farmers Markets and many more.

We also acknowledge Follow the Flowers farmers and communities across Australia, Outback Academy pro-bono and volunteer roles, and our Red Dust Heelers community leaders. Thank you all.

Get in touch today to find out how Outback Academy can connect your business with Aboriginal landholders to benefit indigenous communities.