Our Story

Gulbarn is an ancient remedy. It is the Alawa word for melaleuca citrolens, a native plant in the myrtle family that grows wild across parts of Northern Australia. 

Alawa people have been harvesting Gulbarn for thousands of years, using it as a traditional bush medicine for healing colds, coughs and stomach aches. Traditionally, it is brewed for drinking, inhaling or bathing in and is still used on Country today when adults and children are sick and to help improve immunity. 

Our Founder Samara Billy launched the Gulbarn tea business in 2015 with a stall at Barunga Festival. 

Samara has lived in Minyerri all of her life and, as well as being a natural entrepreneur, she is a keen and talented photographer. She is passionate about creating opportunities for the young people in Minyerri including her three daughters Jayzena, Ashlene and Letty.

Gulbarn has always been a family operation, with Samara supported by a big team of family members who assist with a variety of tasks including harvesting, operations and marketing.

This team currently includes Kaylena Hodgson, Naomi Wilfred, Asherona Wilfred, Shantaria Wilfred, Agnes Wilfred, Melva Wilfred, Josephina Roberts, Lynette Roberts, Shoniel Hodgson, Kaye Wilfred, Karen Wilfred, Keshaun Wilfred, Latoya Bennett, Letty Hodgson, Lalita Bennett, Tori Daylight, Edith Roberts, Miria Ponto, Shakira Mariaka, Lucille Thompson, Evangeline Bennett, Veronica Campbell, May Fulton, Jayzena Billy, Linda Billy. 

Six years on, Gulbarn is still going from strength-to-strength with stockists around the country. Gulbarn is also served at top restaurants including Attica, Fleet, Navi and Poly.

Gulbarn has an unmistakably Australian aroma, and a subtle flavour with notes of sweet citrus, tea tree and eucalyptus. High in antioxidants, caffeine free and a rich source of calcium, magnesium and potassium, it can be enjoyed hot and cold. 

Samara and her ancestors have sustainably managed and harvested this ancient medicinal plant since time immemorial. The community leads local biodiversity conservation efforts, ensuring Gulbarn is collected (it is still picked by hand) and protected in line with cultural values and traditional ecological knowledge.