Geoff Wedlock Innovation Park

Geoff Wedlock was a Managing Director with Gindalbie Metals Pty. Ltd. who first developed Karara Mine Site formerly Blue Hills Project. Geoff was a true believer in Innovative projects that would provide training & employment for the local communities, unfortunately Geoff was killed in a plane crash in South Africa along with 5 other Mining Executives in June 2010.

During the mines construction in 2010, Karara Mining purchased land for its rail infrastructure, Some of this land was classed as semi-arable and about 5,000 acres was set aside to establish a Mid West innovation hub (Innovation Park) for mining and non-mining related ventures.

In 2011, Karara Mining partnered with the Midwest Employment and Economic Development Aboriginal Corporation (MEEDAC) to develop a large-scale and commercially viable chicken farm, free-range egg and horticultural enterprise at Innovation Park, with about 70% of produce used to supply the Karara Village with the remaining distributed within the regional community, providing quality fresh local produce at discounted prices.

The initiative provided direct employment, annual traineeships, on-the-job training, job qualifications and real employment outcomes for both Non-Indigenous and Indigenous workers in a culturally sensitive way and “on-country.” Since 2014, more than 50 people have participated in these programs and more than 20 people have left the project to take up new full-time employment in the region.

In 2016, Karara Mining Ltd and MEEDAC were jointly awarded the Inaugural Department of Mines & Petroleum Resources Sector Community Partnership Award by the Minister in recognition of the deep and sustainable partnership arrangement between Karara Mining and MEEDAC, the innovative program and the diverse range of important and successful outcomes it has delivered.

In 2018, WA’s first Indigenous-owned and operated seed farm for restoration seed was established through a partnership with Curtain University (Professor Kingsley Dixon), and in 2021 we became a Partner Organisation with their Healing Country Initiative.

In January 2020, we started trading as MEEDAC FRESH after gaining our Freshcare Certification, which is recognised by all of Australia's major retailers and demonstrates a producers commitment to Food Safety & Quality.

The project concept has varied in recent years, the chooks are now gone and the original shade houses have been replaced with a state-of-the-art fully enclosed and climate controlled 10,000 square metre Cravo shade house, which was purchased via Commonwealth funding & constructed by local MEEDAC employees (Shade house components arrived June 2018, Construction began July 2018 & completed in March 2019). A large 25m x 25m Packing Shed was also constructed, by building contractors, adjacent to the Shade House, which includes a 5m x 5m cool room and Packing facilities, as well as housing the PRIVA control system, fertigation system & Misting system pumps.

Our Produce includes:

• Tomatoes (Standard, Cherry, Plum, Heirloom - Beefsteak)

• Capsicum (Red, Yellow, Orange, Green)

• Sweet Peppers

• Chilli (Cayenne, Jalapeno, Habanero, Birdseye plus 9 trial varieties)

• Melons (Watermelon, Rock Melon, Honeydew)

• Plus other seasonal vegetables

MEEDAC FRESH is committed to providing quality fresh produce to Karara Village, other Mining camps, local mid west businesses & Perth Markets as well as continuing to provide full time employment and training opportunities for local Indigenous and Non-Indigenous workers.