Serena proud to inspire

Anindilyakwa woman Serena Bara is one of the impressive leaders heading up the all‑female led Bush Medijina program delivered through the Anindilyakwa Services Aboriginal Corporation.

She is also a proud and humble ambassador of the 9th Aboriginal Economic Development Forum that will be held in November this year.

“I am surprised I was asked to be an ambassador. This is a big thing for me”, Serena said.

As part of her role as manager of the Bush Medijina program, Serena works hard to strengthen values, knowledge, culture and community wellbeing in response to social issues on Groote Eylandt, particularly for local women.

Bush Medijina is a growing social enterprise that supports women’s capacity building and wellbeing through its handcrafted skincare range that combines traditional knowledge and botanicals. Established just three‑years ago, the program has gone from strength to strength and is having a lasting positive impact on Anindilyakwa women in Groote Eylandt communities.

Serena’s involvement with Bush Medijina and role as chairperson with the Anindilyakwa Services Aboriginal Corporation has equipped her with a wealth of knowledge that she hopes to share with others at the upcoming 9th Aboriginal Economic Development Forum.

“The Aboriginal Economic Development Forum is a good opportunity for sharing knowledge and interacting with other people,” Serena said.

“Sometimes things work for them and sometimes they don’t. The forum is about sharing experiences and learning from other communities.”

As well as being ambassador, Serena is one of the impressive speakers included in the forum program and will present a breakout session on Bush Medijina alongside her colleague Kerstina Mamarika.

On what she hopes to teach others through the ‘Bush Medijina: our story’ presentation, Serena has one simple message.

“The main thing about Bush Medijina is getting women together and inspiring other women,” Serena said.

Serena has attended a number of Aboriginal economic development specific events and recently travelled to Canada for the World Indigenous Business Forum where she joined an impressive list of Aboriginal leaders from across the world with a shared interest in developing Aboriginal prosperity through economic growth.

The 9th Aboriginal Economic Development Forum will be held on 7 and 8 November at the Darwin Convention Centre.

The two-day program includes a welcome reception, plenary sessions with keynote presentations, breakout sessions and marketplace, showcasing the Territory’s Aboriginal businesses, services and programs.

The forum brings together a diverse range of Aboriginal entrepreneurs, private sector, industry, government and non‑government organisations from across the Northern Territory and is an opportunity for key stakeholders to share experiences, network and showcase their products and services with others that can lead to positive commercial outcomes.

The biennial forum is one of Australia’s largest Aboriginal economic development specific events and attracts around 400 delegates and has over 50% Aboriginal delegate participation.

For more information view Aboriginal Economic Development Forum.

Serene Bara holding the handcrafted skincare products

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