Gather + Grow

Making healthy food and drinks accessible in remote Queensland.

Making healthy food and drinks accessible in remote Queensland.

Gather + Grow is focussed on improving food security in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Far North Queensland and the Lower Gulf through a combination of local and whole-of-system actions. 

In partnership, we are building a multi-strategic response to improve food security by addressing its barriers and amplifying community strengths. We are engaging with communities, and across sectors, to identify and implement solutions that will have meaningful, lasting impact. 

Gather + Grow 2023-2032

Gather + Grow 2023–2032 (PDF, 4.69MB) is the Queensland Government’s strategy to address food security in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities. The first Action Plan, the Gather + Grow Action Plan 2023–2026 (PDF, 4.12MB), will focus on co-ordinating action in the state’s Far North and Lower Gulf and setting Queensland up for a healthier, fairer future. 

Health and Wellbeing Queensland has led the development of Gather + Grow 2023–2032 and the Gather + Grow Action Plan 2023–2026, through co-leadership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and in close partnership with stakeholders across sectors and government.  

Health and Wellbeing Queensland will lead the delivery of the Gather + Grow Action Plan 2023-2026 through partnerships across sectors and with all tiers of government. Health and Wellbeing Queensland are co-ordinating a collective effort to address remote food security with communities at its centre.  

Gather + Grow 2023-2032 outlines a whole-of-system approach to improve food security across four community-identified priority areas: 

  • optimising supply chain performance, resilience and logistics to ensure quality, affordable, healthy food is consistently available year-round  
  • improving the accessibility and availability of healthy food by creating supportive settings for sustainable local food production 
  • empowering communities to choose and prepare healthy food by building awareness, capability and environments for good nutrition 
  • supporting healthy homes that enable the use of healthy food with reliable and functional facilities and equipment (for example, working fridges and cooktops).  

Gather + Grow 2023-2032 will help progress the Queensland Government’s commitment to the National Agreement on Closing the Gap and Making Tracks towards closing the gap in health outcomes for Indigenous Queenslanders by 2033. 

Gather + Grow Healthy Communities

Partnerships with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled sector will see remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities supported to gather and grow locally-led strategies and actions to establish food security across Far North Queensland and the Lower Gulf.

Gather + Grow Healthy Stores

Grocery stores can be full of unhealthy food and drinks, which makes it hard for people to choose food and drinks that support their health and wellbeing. The Healthy Stores Project aims to shake up these food environments and empower customers to make healthier choices. In partnership with Community Enterprise Queensland, Health and Wellbeing Queensland are working to build the capacity and capability of remote food stores to make healthier food environments a reality for remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Gather + Grow Healthy Stores is applying health-enabling changes and activities to improve in-store food retail environments in Queensland’s Far North and Lower Gulf. This project is being informed and strengthened by an ongoing research project in partnership with remote stores experts from Monash University, The University of Queensland and Menzies School of Health Research.

A free 8-session Remote Stores Project ECHO® series was developed with Monash University to support the Healthy Stores Project. The broader Gather + Grow team also support the Healthy Stores Project by identifying relevant community priorities, facilitating local engagement and coordinating activities for participating remote stores.

Federal Parliamentary Inquiry into food pricing and food security in remote Indigenous communities
Food security leadership

We're connecting with existing governance structures, stakeholders and forums to ensure a comprehensive strategy and action plan to guide a resilient and stable food supply.

In June 2020, we made a submission and a further Response to the Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs into the Federal Parliamentary Inquiry into food pricing and food security in remote Indigenous communities.

The Report and recommendations out of the Inquiry were published in December 2020 and despite known significant food security issues, the report also shone a light on collaborative practices to get food to where it needed to be, brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In October 2021, in partnership with the Torres and Cape Indigenous Council Alliance and the Local Government Association of Queensland, we delivered a series of Remote Food Security Roundtables focused on three priority areas; freight and supply chain, healthy housing and economic development. The learnings and practices uncovered by the roundtables and the Inquiry is what Gather + Grow is working to harness and amplify.

Federal Parliamentary Inquiry into food pricing and food security in remote Indigenous communities
Far North Queensland Hub

We have established a Far North Queensland presence managed by a Torres Strait Islander-identified professional. The team is based in Cairns and will work closely with our funded community-controlled and store-based position as well as other key stakeholders.

Motif artwork produced for Queensland Health by Gilimbaa.


If you have questions about Gather + Grow, or are interested in working with us to progress food security, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us at

Learn more about our work in the region

In December 2020 we came together with 12 Torres Strait Island Regional Council Healthy Lifestyle Officers to strengthen and share knowledge and skills around healthy eating, physical activity, self-esteem, behaviour change and growing food.

Following the initial gathering, our Far North Queensland representative, together with the Healthy Lifestyle Officers has launched a holistic health and wellbeing program tailored to local communities called KERIBA Way, which means ‘Our Way’.

Last updated 11 December 2023