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Nestlé Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth Development Program (AYDP)

About Nestlé AYDP

The Nestlé Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth Development Program (AYDP) started in 2010 and today is the flagship program of the Nestlé Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

Our first partnership centred on supporting First Nations education program Girls Academy. Through a ten-year partnership, Nestlé supported Girls Academy on an extensive range of initiatives aimed to educate young First Nations women, develop Girls Academy leaders and expand the reach of the program.

Today, Nestlé AYDP has a partnership with NASCA.

Fuelling an Energised Life is the nutrition program at the heart of Nestlé AYDP and aims to support First Nations youth further develop healthier lifestyle habits. This involves nutrition and cooking workshops and resources such as nutrition booklets, worksheets, and posters.

We partner with Gamilaroi Accredited Practicing Dietitian Tracy Hardy to create these culturally centred workshops and resources. A key aspect of our nutrition program explores the taste and nutritional benefits of bush foods such as lemon myrtle, saltbush, warrigal greens and strawberry gum.

Tracy Hardy, Gamilaroi Accredited Practicing Dietitian, Wattleseed Nutrition

Nestlé AYDP initiatives




NASCA CareerFit Conference

Nestlé hosted 48 First Nations students at the Nestlé Head Office in Rhodes, NSW in May 2022 for NASCA’s first CareerFit Conference. The students tested their health and wellbeing knowledge in an interactive nutrition session, made delicious bushfood bliss bites with Gamilaroi Dietitian Tracy Hardy using Strawberry Gum and Wattleseed and participated in career speed networking sessions with Nestlé employees including many of our grads. The students had a great day which ended with them meeting our senior leaders over lunch, with each receiving a Nestlé goodie bag for their participation.


Bush Food Recipes

In NAIDOC Week 2020, we began our journey of creating bush food recipes using Nestlé products, in collaboration with Gamilaroi Dietitian and Nestlé AYDP program partner Tracy Hardy. Using Nestlé products such as Nestlé Sweetened Condensed Milk, Nestlé Evaporated Cooking Milk and Uncle Tobys Oats alongside native ingredients such as lemon myrtle, wattleseed, bush tomato and strawberry gum, Tracy created delicious recipes including pumpkin and lemon myrtle scones, creamy bush tomato chicken pasta bake and strawberry gum and wattleseed cheesecake. These recipes were given to Nestlé AYDP students in cooking booklets.

In 2022 we launched Tuck in! A program created by Nestlé supporting emerging First Nations creatives to establish career pathways in commercial content creation. From macadamia amaretti biscuits using Nestlé Sweetened Condensed Milk to coffee, wattleseed and dark chocolate brownies using NESCAFÉ Blend 43, Tuck in! tapped into Australians’ growing interest in bushfoods with content that encourages home cooks to try cooking with bushfoods at home – while at the same time, offering a fresh creative opportunity for young graduates.

Celebrating young First Nations Artists

In 2020 Nestlé invited Nestlé AYDP students to submit their artwork for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artwork competition to celebrate the milestone 10-year partnership with Girls Academy. The brief was to reflect Nestlé’s motto of Good Food Good Life. Brooke Sutton, a proud Kalkadoon woman from Kepnock Girls Academy in Queensland, was the winner after Nestlé employees cast their vote to select their favourite.

A contemporary Indigenous artist since she was 8, Brooke enjoys keeping active with the gym and karate and her favourite subject is history. Brooke is passionate about her culture and heritage. Brooke’s original winning piece is proudly displayed at the Nestlé head office in Sydney and is integrated in the new Nestlé AYDP brand identity. Brooke’s artwork is also featured in the Nestlé Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

Mother Daughter Cooking Program

In 2013 Nestlé began a program to educate First Nations women and teenagers the importance of nutrition through the Mother Daughter Cooking Program.

The program was developed in consultation with local First Nations communities to help First Nations women and teenagers to cook simple, nutritionally balanced, and cost-effective meals as well as promote healthy eating in their households. In addition to hands on cooking lessons, the program also provided assets including a book packed with easy, budget conscious recipes and nutrition tips.

Then Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda said at the time “Nestlé Australia has taken a significant leadership role to build a working relationship with the Indigenous population in Australia based on mutual respect and empowerment, the focus on young Indigenous women and teenagers in Australia is to be applauded, not only for taking the initiative, but also the respectful way Nestlé has gone about building such relationships, which will produce a long-term sustainable improvement to people’s lives.”


Nestlé AYDP Scholarship

In 2018, 2019 and 2020 Nestlé provided a scholarship program for First Nations women. The scholarship was designed to give financial support to selected students participating in Nestlé AYDP to pursue tertiary study. Over the course of 3 years, we supported 10 young First Nations women with scholarships of up to $10,000 each.

Nestlé AYDP Timeline

2010 – Nestlé begins its’ support of First Nations youth via the Nestlé Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth Development Program (AYDP) with program partner Girls Academy
2012 – Nestlé delivers its first Nutrition Education program
2013 – Nestlé launches the Mother Daughter Cooking Program
2015 – Nestlé support Girls Academy to develop their first brand identity
2016 – Nestlé helps Girls Academy secure government funding of $5million for program expansion
2016 – Nestlé launches the Maggi pop up kitchen initiative
2017 – Nestlé announces the Nestlé AYDP Scholarship which runs for 3 years
2019 – Nestlé relaunched its Nutrition Education program Fuelling an Energised Life in partnership with Gamilaroi Dietitian Tracy Hardy 
2020 – Nestlé launches the Maggi Mystery Box Cooking Challenge 
2021 – Nestlé partners with NASCA