The Mai Wiru Sugar Challenge Foundation is working with the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands communities in an indigenous-led initiative to improve their health. By combining modern and local traditional knowledge of food preparation we are reducing sugar intake by encouraging delicious healthy alternatives.
We are the nutritional arm of the already existing Mai Wiru Regional Stores Council.
With your help, we aim to open locally-run ‘good living cafes’ in five of the APY Land townships, in which we will continue our nutrition training whilst providing healthy meals. Watch the video below to learn more:
The Mai Wiru Sugar Challenge Foundation was founded to raise the funds to allow the mission started by Mai Wiru to continue. The Foundation is working with the community to remove as much sugar from the stores as is possible and it is, most importantly, collaborating with the people of the APY Lands to take control of their own health.
The Foundation will measure what works and what doesn’t and learn from the experience with the aim of taking its campaign to other communities that may also be consuming too much sugar (both non-indigenous and indigenous).
In our trial store in Pipalyatjara, the work of the nutritionists has been embraced – locals are very happy with the delicious, healthy food that is being cooked for them fresh and also as ‘pre packaged meals’ and are particularly positive about their children eating better. This has led them to be very enthusiastic about the idea of a kitted-out café that sells healthy meals. We have full support of making this happen.
The Anangu store workers are enjoying their roles in helping the community get healthier.
Our Foundation is the nutrition arm of the Mai Wiru Regional Stores Council, which is a health initiative run by local aboriginal people. The Mai Wiru group lost their Government funding in 2010 and as a result their nutritionist was unable to continue. They were achieving terrific results in lowering sugar consumption in the communities and we wish to empower them to continue their great work by reinstating nutrition training and education as a priority.
as recommended by the World Health Organisation
The mission of the Mai Wiru Sugar Challenge Foundation is to improve the health of Aboriginal people by focusing on the 5 stores of the APY Lands. We then hope to roll out the program to other Aboriginal communities across Australia.
After 18 months of negotiating with the local elders and health and women’s councils, we began our program in the pilot store of Pipalyatjara. We have been received with open arms and great support.
Our pilot store has already trained local ‘nutrition advisors’ to work in the store. This involves helping others with food choices, maintaining signs and labels plus providing morning smoothies and healthy take away choices.
The sugar ‘teaspoon labeling system’ is in place along with posters on healthy choices.
The local school has received a ‘That Sugar Film School Action Kit’ and the children are enthusiastically learning about the importance of eating real foods and less sugar for the benefit of their mind and bodies.
We are looking for your help to achieve our goals of lower sugar consumption on the APY lands and beyond. Any contribution you make over $2 is tax deductible. Every dollar counts so even if its $2, we are very grateful. If you wish to donate more than $500 please email email@example.com for information on how to do that. You can choose to be anonymous or we will proudly list you as one of our supporters on the website. Its up to you.
Does the company you work for support philanthropic projects? We would love it if you could please spread the word of what we are achieving in the APY Lands, in the hope we can get much needed support to build our ‘good living cafes’.
Contact us here to find out more details about all the benefits of becoming a ‘Corporate Cousin’, including:
Would you like to raise awareness and funds to assist us in achieving our goal? Please contact us here to find out about screenings and other fund raising events.
Director and Founder of the MWSCF
Thanks also to the many wonderful members of the public who have already donated.
Any text and images relating to deceased persons on this website have been reproduced with the permission of the appropriate families and authorities. However Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers/viewers are warned that the contents of this website may include images and references to deceased persons.
The Mai Wiru Sugar Challenge Foundation would like to acknowledge and pay tribute to the elders and the traditional owners of the APY Lands.
Damon Gameau is an award-winning actor who has appeared in a range of productions. As a director, he was the winner of Tropfest in 2011 and That Sugar Film marked his first feature-length film. The film is now the highest-grossing Australian documentary of all time and has had major releases across New Zealand, the UK, Canada, South Africa and the United States with releases in many more countries around Europe, Asia and the America’s to come in 2016. The film also won the 2015 Aacta award for Best Feature Documentary.
Alongside the documentary came ‘That Sugar Book’ which is a best seller and is now available in 12 languages around the world.
THAT SUGAR FILM started as one man’s journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar. Damon embarked on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body, consuming only foods that are commonly perceived, or promoted to be, ‘healthy'.
Over three years of development and production, Damon and his crew travelled the world to interview experts at the forefront of researching the impact of current levels of sugar consumption.
Following on from the release of the film, the journey has continued to evolve with Damon seeking to empower consumers around the world to make healthier food choices for themselves and their families, focusing on the dangers of a high sugar diet. This mission has seen Damon address the UK and New Zealand Parliaments, meet with the LA Lakers, screen for the Royal College of Medicine in London and appear on television via the BBC, The Today Show and Dr Oz in the US.
Through the generous support of philanthropic and strategic outreach partners Damon feels fortunate to now be driving change in many different areas, including through hundreds of Australian schools and the new free smartphone app, which is allowing users to track their sugar consumption every day in a fun and engaging way.
On the back of the enormous success of That Sugar Film and That Sugar Book, Damon Gameau brings us That Sugar Guide which he has co-written with his wife Zoe.
Damon is a passionate advocate for good health and is determined to help people find a happier way of living.
Julie Buxton BCom LLB Master Pub Int Law, Melb Admitted to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria, 1996
Julie is a lawyer, producer and, from 2014 to 2016, was the human rights and youth justice adviser to the Victorian Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People.
She is currently leading a social impact campaign for a documentary (Prison Songs) seeking to highlight the gross over-imprisonment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia’s prison and youth justice systems.
Between 2013 and 2015, Julie directed and produced a series of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural festivals – Yalukit Wilum Ngargee – the opening day of the iconic St Kilda Festival and the inaugural 2014 and the 2015 Baany to Warrna Ngargee – Water to Water Festival in the Mornington Peninsula. Julie directed, produced and project managed all aspects of the festivals and associated ‘satellite’ events, including an oration by Supreme Court Judge, Justice Kevin Bell, on constitutional recognition and human rights.
Julie is the Chair of the Law Institute of Victoria’s Aboriginal Reconciliation and Advancement Committee, a member of the Law Institute’s Reconciliation Action Plan Oversight Committee, a member of the Bridge of Hope White Dove’s Reference Committee and an associate member of the Willum Warrain Aboriginal Gathering Place in the Mornington Peninsula. She is also a director of the Mai Wiru Sugar Challenge Foundation, which is working with communities in the APY Lands to reduce sugar in the diet and a co-founder and director of Big Red Films Ltd, a not-for-profit company that promotes human rights and social justice through film and the arts. Big Red Films has produced a series of short films that seek to raise awareness of human rights issues impacting on Australia’s Indigenous communities while simultaneously showcasing and celebrating the positive aspects of culture.
Gavyn has been with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Australia since 2009, having a core focus on the public sector. His expertise is in providing strategic, commercial and financial advice to government on large scale infrastructure projects across sustainability, energy, water, transport and social sectors. Gavyn’s experience spans multiple cities in Australia as well as experience in Bangkok.
Whilst at PwC, Gavyn has championed corporate responsibility with a particular focus on indigenous matters, and has been a member of the Melbourne committee for PwC’s Reconciliation Action Plan since 2011. Gavyn has also been active in international volunteering, having experience in nutrition, community development and teaching programs in the Philippines and Fiji.
John Tregenza was born in Darwin and grew up in country South Australia, finishing High School at Port Lincoln before attending Flinders University.
John has over thirty years experience working in community development in urban, rural and remote settings. The great part of his work has been in very remote Aboriginal communities throughout Central Australia, from Yalata on the Great Australian Bight to Balgo in the Kimberly.
Work has focussed on developing Aboriginal community-controlled organisations to address primary health and community social needs.
John was the first person employed by the Pitjantjatjara people’s Homelands Movement to assist in establishing Aboriginal managed communities in the western Pitjantjatjara region in the 1970’s. He was involved with the development and establishment of the Pitjantjatjara Council and the movement that achieved inalienable freehold title or Land Rights for Anangu Pitjantjatjara in northwest South Australia.
John then carried out consultation for the development and establishment of a number of Aboriginal community-controlled health services including the Pitjantjatjara Homelands Health Service, Nganampa Health Council, Yalata Maralinga (now Tullawon), and Ceduna Koonibba Health Service. He has since been invited back to provide consultative work for these and other health services. He was a Board Member of the South Australian Aboriginal Health Organisation and an Executive member of the National Aboriginal and Islander Health Organisation (NAIHO) through the 1980’s.
Since the early 1990’s John has been self-employed as a consultant to Aboriginal community controlled organisations and to government. His work has included a review of the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytatjara Women’s Council, a report on the Delivery of Disability Services to people on the Pitjantjatjara Lands, a Feasibility study for a low security correctional facility for the Lands and a review of Victim Support Services in the region for the Attorney General’s Department. He has advised on setting up a number of public health programs on the Lands and, from 1998 to 2012 developed and coordinated the implementation of the Mai Wiru (Good Food) Regional Stores Policy on the APY Lands for Nganampa Health Council.
Throughout his adult life John Tregenza has been involved in social, health and political issues arising from Colonisation and the interaction between the now dominant Western culture and Aboriginal Australia, where he maintains his commitments to Aboriginal community controlled service delivery and obligations to Pitjantjatjara Tjukurpa and Anangu Law