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Connection to Country via Tea Tree

Posted by Lilly Choi-Lee on

A beautiful post penned by TARA LUCA, one of our passionate artisans from Olive Gap Farm

We were fortunate to share a coffee & stories during NAIDOC week with one of our local Bundjalung elders, Aunty Simone.

It's amazing to talk to Simone and learn more about the rich history of this area. Tea tree (melaleuca alternifolia) is only native to Bundjalung country in Australia which our local mob is part of and it's been part of their culture for tens of thousands of years. Much has been lost, but there is still a lot we can learn. 🍂

She shared stories about the local Tea Tree Lakes being "Women's only" places and were used for childbirth and rituals due to the healing qualities of the Tea tree. 🌿

Her father had also been a Tea tree farmer for a while and she has memories of him hand harvesting and woodfire bush distilling the oil, in pretty much the same way we produce our oil today.

We have been chatting with her for a while now about getting the farm involved in some local initiatives for aboriginal youth. Both Alex & Nina have worked with local Bundjalung kids for many years and we have some cool ideas brewing! Looking forward to sharing things soon.

We feel so privileged to be having these conversations with some of the local traditional custodians. I'm currently writing an e-book about Tea tree and really want to be able to honour the history of its traditional origins in a respectful way while being aware that essential oils in there current form are a modern invention since settlement which has taken on a history and story of its own.

Aunty Simone will also be working on some artwork with us, so we can honour the local mob in some way on our new packaging! Stay tuned.

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