Caroline de Mori

Indigenous health advocate

2013 WA Local Hero

Caroline de Mori established a not-for-profit foundation in 2005 to overcome chronic health issues in Indigenous communities in the most practical way – by helping them grow and prepare fresh fruit and vegetables. She recognised that the simplest way to provide fresh food particularly to remote communities was to grow it locally. Since then, Caroline’s Edge of Nowhere Foundation, or EON as it’s known, has been invited into 12 remote communities in Western Australia. The program, called Thriving Communities, helps Indigenous people understand the importance of fresh fruit, vegetables and bush tucker to a healthy diet and disease prevention. Over five years, the communities learn how to grow, harvest, prepare and cook their food, and learn a range of skills to support a healthy lifestyle. A big focus of the program is children, who learn about preparing simple, healthy meals. The communities are strongly encouraged to take responsibility for the program as Caroline believes ownership is an important part of education. Caroline and her team have raised more than $4 million for Thriving Communities from governments, Indigenous land corporations and the private sector.