Our Story

Nutrition Plus was founded by Dr. Louise Glennie PhD in 2008 in response to a desire to be active in the Reconciliation space and to assist in Closing the Gap. Louise became passionate about Indigenous issues after having a life -changing experience with an Aboriginal lecturer, Prof Bill Jonas in her undergraduate years at University of Newcastle, where he took an hour or so to explain some of the issues facing Aboriginal people and why. From that day Louise knew she would like to do something meaningful and effective in the Indigenous space, but like many non-Indigenous people, it was not immediately clear what to do.

Years later, after working in and running a successful organisation in the Nutrition industry with her husband, Louise developed the idea of supplying nutritional supplements to children in schools located in remote and/or disadvantaged areas where there is a higher representation of Indigenous people. This then grew to incorporating fruit, vegetable and bush-tucker gardens, cooking programs and local cultural knowledge and skills within school programs, with the overall desire to improve health and wellbeing of the children.

Over the years our project quantity, impact and diversity have increased. In 2016 Nutrition Plus started to participate in the Global Juice Plus Company Foundation’s initiative to supply 10 Million Meals to homeless and disadvantaged people around the world by providing plant -based protein shakes to organisations already preparing meals. This has been a highly successful program with meals provided on a daily in both Australia and New Zealand.

In 2017, due to the generosity of the Juice Plus Company Australia and New Zealand and their Partners, Nutrition Plus was able to offer small grants to other organisations working in similar areas, to extend the work that we do. There is a wide range of different organisations that we partner with- all working with homeless, disadvantaged and/ or indigenous communities.

Our latest offering began at the beginning of 2020 in responses to our closer partnership with Wakagetti Indigenous Corporation. Together we are offering targeted Cultural Education and Training to corporates, businesses, schools and other organisations. Profits from the training is funneled back into our other projects and to assist Wakagetti with their Indigenous youth mentoring programs.

Why we do it

There is a 17 year gap in expected lifespan between Australian Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and many of us know that the Federal Government, government agencies and other organisations are working in a number of areas to reduce that gap.

 

“However, do we stop to think about what this statistic really means to Aboriginal people and their communities?”

 

  • Few grandparents
  • Sick and disabled adults with 47% of Aboriginal people having a disability by the time they reach 18 years of age
  • Children are 3 times more likely to die before the age of 15 than non-Indigenous children
  • The leading causes of death among Indigenous people are cardiovascular disease, cancer, and respiratory disease, diabetics & related complications

Poor nutrition is cited as the number one contributing factor to Indigenous health issues with diabetes and many other diseases and illnesses often improved or even prevented by good nutrition. Access to fresh fruits, vegetables and/ or bush-tucker is a major constraint to improved nutrition. Access issues include:

  • Cultural access to western fruits and vegetables
  • Physical access due to remoteness and poor soil and climatic conditions
  • Lack of education and skills transfer
  • Costs of supply

“As an educated society, we can do something about these issues. Nutrition Plus is doing something”.

"Nutrition Plus is managed by a dedicated and passionate board of directors who are driven by our purpose to strive towards building healthy futures with Indigenous and other disadvantaged people"

Meet our Board

Chairperson

Dr Louise Glennie (PhD)

Nutrition Plus was founded by Dr Louise Glennie PhD in 2008 as the Not-for Profit (NFP) ‘daughter company’ to the Juice Plus Company Australia and New Zealand (JPCANZ). This organisation started with the intention of providing Juice Plus products to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (having by far, the worst health statistics of any other group in Australia) and other disadvantaged children through school. However, Nutrition plus now offers a wide array of health and wellbeing support to schools in addition to assisting other disadvantaged and homeless people of all age. This is achieved through small grant funding and providing Juice Plus products to other NFP and organisations that support these groups.

Our projects now include – fruit, vegetable and bush-tucker gardens, and cooking, health and wellbeing, health education programs and cultural reconnection programs that impact on mental health and sense of wellbeing in both Australia and New Zealand. And of course, we continue to supply of Juice Plus products throughout the projects. It is estimated that several thousand people have benefitted from our projects to date.

Louise remains Chairperson and CEO of this organisation and acknowledges that this organisation only exists because of the generosity of the Juice Plus Company, its staff and the thousands of JP partners and customers that support the organisation through donations, fundraising and as Project Ambassadors.

Directors

Dr Kate Hartig (PhD)

Kate was formerly a Human Geography academic with teaching and research interest in Indigenous and rural issues, specifically the way the construction of a place creates socioeconomic disadvantage. Her resignation from an academic career was prompted by the desire to seek new challenges and a determination to focus her energies into making a difference.

Since 2009, alongside her commitment with Nutrition Plus, she has taken up assignments with Indigenous Community Volunteers (ICV) in Western Australia and Australian Volunteers International (AVI) in Indonesia and Myanmar.

Kate finds being a member of the Nutrition Plus board and its aims to promote and support good health for Indigenous children through educational and practical ways, intrinsically satisfying.

David Newham

David is a proud Aboriginal man from the Wiradjuri and Ngemba groups of Central and North Western NSW. He is a committed father of two boys and has lived all of his life in Newcastle. He is an active member of numerous Aboriginal communities across the Hunter Region.

David believes it is his obligation and responsibility to pass on traditional cultural knowledge, shared with him by his Elders, and the professional skills and experiences he has acquired over time. In particular, he feels that Aboriginal young people are an essential focus of this sharing ofknowledge.

David has over 16 years experience working in education and training, Aboriginal mentoring, community engagement and development, the performing arts, public speaking, cultural tourism and leadership/ advisory roles across the Hunter Region. He has had association with organisations such as; the University of Newcastle, TAFE Hunter Institute, the Newcastle Knights (NRL) Football Club, the Catchment Management Authority, the Department of Family and Community Services, BHP Billiton, Wakagetti Dance Company, Gunni Thakun Cultural Association, several Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Committees (AECG) and numerous Primary and High Schools.

Much of David’s professional and personal pursuits have particular focus on the development and advancement of Aboriginal young people. He works to inspire, support and build overall health and well-being, using traditional cultural practices and teachings as the foundation for this work.

Additionally, as a double graduate from the University of Newcastle (1997,2006) David has helda seat on the Alumni Advisory Committee at UoN.

Nathan Brennan

Nathan Brennan is a proud Aboriginal man descending from the Gomeroi, Gumbaynggirr and Bundjalung Aboriginal people of NSW.

Nathan was born in Newcastle and now resides in Graton where he is CEO of the Coffs harbor Land Council. Nathan is an active member of the community, volunteering his time through a number of boards in addition to his Nutrition Plus role.

Nathan is an esteemed Aboriginal cultural performer and often attends schools to conduct Aboriginal culture and dance workshops, as well as a performing at community events.

Nathan has a wealth of experience working in the NSW Government sector for 10 years, managing education and employment programs, in particular by focussing on youth and young people. One of his passions is working with young people to identify goals and develop pathways to assist them achieve their education and career ambitions.

He is passionate about the environment and sits on the board of a Non-Government Organisation that empowers young Aboriginal people to protect and look after their country and the environment. Nathan also has a keen interest in human rights, he loves learning about cultures and participating in cultural exchange.

Nathan joined the Nutrition Plus Board in 2016 and is a Juice Plus Franchisee. He had the pleasure of attending and performing at the 2016 Australia & New Zealand International Conference in Melbourne, Gold Coast and Perth whilst also supporting NMD workshops by sharing culture and dance.

Nathan is proud of the work undertaken by Nutrition Plus and believes not only in the Nutrition Plus philosophy of building good health and well-being, he is excited by the work Nutrition Plus is doing in providing holistic programs that encompass Aboriginal identity and culture.

Garth Russell

To say that Garth Russell has continued to enjoy a versatile professional career would be an understatement. After several years working in retail management, he embarked on a radio career that spanned over 35 years. In the past three decades, Garth has also pursued other areas of entertainment, acting professionally on stage, in TV and Film. He has also worked continuously as a presenter, emcee, and voice over artist.

In amongst all that Garth has run his own company, Gen Wise, incorporating his love of interviewing and passion for the power of storytelling to help literally hundreds of individuals and organisations get their messages out to the world.

Garth recently, along with his wife Susie embarked on a new project, Wellbeings & Co which combines their skills of teaching and storytelling, and further cements their commitment to spreading the message of health and well being. Juice Plus is a big part of their message, as is of course Nutrition Plus, which has been very much on Garth’s radar since first meeting Louise and Peter more than 8 years ago.

Elsie Stuart

Elsie Stuart is a proud Aboriginal woman from the Biripi Nation located in NSW, North of Taree. Elsie is a former Indigenous liaison Officer for the Australian Government and was also a support officer for Indigenous people affected by natural disasters.

Elsie has a Bachelor of Design from the esteemed Whitehouse School of Design where she majored in Marketing. During her studies Elsie established her flair for creating engaging contentfor the social media space.

During her professional career, Elsie has worked as an editorial food and prop stylist for high-end clients such as Donna Hay, Delicious and MINDFOOD.

In 2018 Elsie started working as part of the Sales and Marketing Team for The Juice Plus Company Australia and was asked to join the Nutrition Plus as Project Manager in an additional capacity and later that year as a valued Director on the board for Nutrition Plus.

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ADDRESS

14 Merewether Street, Merewether NSW 2291

EMAIL

louise.glennie@nutritionplus.org.au

PHONE

02 4963 0000

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