Sodexo, world leader in quality of life services, has enabled the launch of a new Indigenous brand of bottled water through a commitment to supply the bottles at all of its Western Australian mine sites.

Yurrama Water has been developed by Ashburton Aboriginal Corporation (AAC), an organisation which finds and creates culturally appropriate employment, education and training opportunities for Aboriginal people in the Pilbara. 

Sodexo’s pre-launch commitment to purchase the bottled water instilled confidence in AAC to progress the brand concept through the development and production stages. Yurrama Water was officially launched on 18 February and will be available in 600ml and 1.5L bottles.

In line with AAC’s mission, the sales from Yurrama Water will fund Indigenous youth employment programs in the Pilbara and provide an increase in Indigenous employment opportunities. 

Sean Armistead, General Manager Indigenous & Community Engagement, Sodexo Australia: “An important focus for us as a business is to build long-term business connections that produce sustainable outcomes. We know that through supporting Yurrama Water and, more broadly, creating a partnership with AAC, Sodexo is enabling an increase in Indigenous employment and spend.”  

The brand’s namesake is an Aboriginal term for a small soak dug near a dry, stagnant or contaminated water source. The sand in the earth acts as a filter to produce clear and drinkable water.

Indigenous people have passed down the technique of digging a Yurrama for thousands of years as a means of collecting clean water from harsh landscapes.

Further to employment service programs in the Pilbara, AAC own and operate a number of enterprises, including Ashoil, Ashmulla Pastoral Company, Onslow Tyres and Mechanical Services and Ashburton Distribution and Logistics. 

Sodexo’s ongoing partnership with AAC has seen the growth of its fresh oil sales and maintenance of its biodiesel production through provision of raw materials. 

Gayden Carey, Director, Ashburton Aboriginal Corporation: “Through the various enterprises that have been established by AAC, like Yurrama Water, we’ve seen many Indigenous people begin to find their place in corporate Australia. Sodexo provided the business partnership needed for Yurrama Water to become commercially viable.”  

Sodexo’s support of AAC and purchase of Yurrama Water is a key action as part of its Elevate Reconciliation Action Plan where the company has committed to investing in Indigenous-owned businesses.

Sodexo has increased its spend with Indigenous-owned businesses from $9 million in 2018 to $21 million in 2019, with more than 50 percent of these businesses located in remote and regional areas. The company believes investing in Indigenous enterprise supports the rising tide of business in the communities where they operate.

Back to the list