Olympia Yarger

Insect farming pioneer and founder, Goterra

2023 ACT Australian of the Year

Olympia Yarger is a climate action warrior, a maggot farmer and founder of the Insect Protein Association of Australia. She even had a fly named after her by the CSIRO (Hermetia Olympea, a soldier fly species from the Daintree rainforest).

The founder of agritech start-up Goterra, Olympia is an insect farming pioneer and has developed an innovative waste management system that uses maggots to process food waste and reduce greenhouse gases.

Her ‘Maggot Robot’ system houses larvae of the black soldier fly inside portable units. Food waste is fed to the maggots and, similar to a worm farm, the larvae’s excretions become fertiliser. The maggots themselves become protein-rich feed for livestock and aquaculture.

It’s already being used by Woolworths and in Sydney’s Barangaroo precinct. So far, Olympia’s system has processed more than 35,000 tonnes of waste and saved more than 66,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.