Farm visit grows connections

Ten eager participants from Hope Vale Congress recently undertook a four-day trip to Townsville and Bowen along with Shaun Nancarrow from Community Owned Enterprises and Dr Peter Lee from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ Bribie Island research centre.

The trip was another step towards the realisation of a commercial Black Lip Oyster farm in Hope Vale, allowing Congress to utilise their traditional water rights in the pristine waters of Cape York to develop a community-enhancing business.

Five men tour an oyster farm in a small boat to explore community development opportunities, one is filming the tour.

Dr Peter Lee (left) and Hope Vale congress members taking a boat tour of Bowen Fresh Oysters.

Participants visited a lobster and Moreton Bay bug farm in Townsville and Queensland’s only Black Lip Oyster farm; Bowen Fresh Oysters (BFO). BFO owner John Collison offered an in-depth tour of his facility, allowing for discussion and knowledge sharing on all aspects of the process, from acquiring the correct spat (baby Oysters), avoiding contamination by local species, growing, sorting and distributing the meat.

An aboriginal man from shows off a shucked oyster for the camera

With the oysters on the farm currently at their prime, more than a few were sampled, further adding to the excitement for this project.

The most heartening outcome from the trip however, was the developing and strengthening connections between Congress, COE and state government. Connections that will be instrumental and hugely beneficial in the next steps of the project planning and pathway to operation.

If you would like to find out more about the work we do, or are interested in becoming a partner, please contact us.