FCW Lawyers’ Mark Allen (Managing Principal – Sydney) and Patrick Allen (Senior Legal Analyst), have been working with Arnhem Beverage Company, a majority Yolngu-owned business, over the past few years as they launch their new spring-water venture; Knowledge Water.
The Arnhem Beverage Company has been set up to package pure water from a natural spring on the community’s land to sell across Arnhem Land and more widely across Australia.
The business’ approach is supported by a bi-cultural and bi-lingual shareholder agreement that blends traditional Yolngu culture and metaphors with western legal business concepts. For example, to ensure all shareholders understand the western corporate law concepts in the context of their traditional lifestyle, the business has been likened to a lipalipa (canoe) where each person in the lipalipa has a different role, but they all paddle in unison towards a common.
Mark Allen commented:
“FCW Lawyers is proud to support this initiative to bring employment to the homelands in Arnhem Land and provide the community with an opportunity to train its young and help them become ready to take jobs elsewhere.
I would encourage all Australian businesses, especially those with reconciliation action plans, to learn more about the business and opportunities to support their work.”
At this stage, all funds are being invested in community-building, wages, and the homeland school system – supporting trainee Yolngu teachers. Eventually, the company hopes to build their own factory to package the spring water at its source and create more long-term jobs for the community.
To support the Yolngu people in their bid for financial independence, you can place a pre-order for delivery of Knowledge Water, due to be dispatched in mid-September.
You can also view recent coverage of the first dispatch of water for packaging, featured by ABC News on Thursday 5 August 2021.