Daniel Motlop is a Larrakia man from Darwin, Northern Territory who now calls Kaurna Country home, in Adelaide, South Australia. Growing up in Darwin, Daniel learned to appreciate the natural abundance around him learning to identify bush apples, billy goat plum, native passionfruit and to hunt for magpie goose and barra. After a long and successful career as a professional AFL player for Port Adelaide Power and North Melbourne, Daniel has shifted his focus to Indigenous social enterprise in the food and beverage industry.
Daniel is the co-founder and General Manager of Something Wild Australia, alongside his brothers Steven, Shannon and their father Eddie. Something Wild are an Indigenous food and beverage company who specialise in game meats and native greens and are at the forefront of supplying Indigenous foods to restaurants and consumer around Australia. Additionally, Something Wild have built strong relationships with Indigenous communities which allows them to promote and supply unique produce from one of the world’s oldest cultures. Not only does this provide Something Wild’s customers with the opportunity to experience products that celebrate Indigenous culture, it also provides positive opportunities and outcomes for many rural and remote Mob communities.
Over the last six years, Daniel has innovated the way that native Australian ingredients are used in the mainstream food and wine industry. Through Something Wild, Daniel shares his extensive knowledge of unique Native ingredients including magpie goose, kangaroo, wild boar, green ants, native greens, herbs and spices, kakadu plums and bush apples. Something Wild were the first food business in Australia to acquire the permit to harvest and sell magpie goose from up north. Daniel has also developed and established the range of Something Wild’s consumer facing products, such as Seven Seasons Spirits and Native fruit flavoured yogurts. This has allowed for more of these uniquely Native Australian food ingredients to be introduced to mainstream Australian consumers. Daniel has also been involved in the establishment of a horticultural enterprise which develops methods of growing more mainstream native plants in greenhouses to allow for reliable harvest volumes and product specification. This innovation helps to ensure a more sustainable harvest.
In addition to working with native ingredients, Daniel has developed a community of First Nations harvesters which crucially allows for industry, and consequently economic development, to be established on country for the benefit of local Aboriginal people. Most ingredients are wild harvested and, Daniel provides job opportunities to First Nations people. This not only creates jobs but also keeps age-old traditions alive by introducing them to a new generation.
Daniel says “We want to get to a stage where native ingredients are like regular fruit and veg.” Daniel believes that there’s space in every Australian household for ingredients that have sustainably nourished Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for thousands of years.