Saltbush Social Enterprises (Saltbush) is a not-for-profit organisation that was developed in response to the critical need for opportunities that create prosperity parity for marginalised
Australians in the Northern Territory (NT).


We put Indigenous people at the centre of our organisation because we know we cannot achieve employment parity until all people have equal employment opportunities. Our motto is a person with a job is a person with a future. We strive to break down barriers that others do not experience by taking a ‘boots on the ground’ approach.

All programs and activities we deliver including Supported Bail Accommodation, Saltbush Employment Services, the Saltbush Wellbeing Program, and Accelerated Aboriginal Chefs of Excellence (AACE) have an underlining focus on helping participants with employment opportunities.

Our strength is our unique mentoring product where our focus is to specialise in empowering Indigenous and other marginalised Territorian jobseekers to develop life skills and basic employability skills moving them along the continuum and then connect them to education and employment for a rewarding, meaningful, and sustainable working life.

Our History

Karen Sheldon AM, Managing Director of Karen Sheldon Group, has more than 50 years of business experience in the Northern Territory. As a Territory chef, Karen spent early years developing her culinary craft at the Barrow Creek Pub where she got to know and interact with the local Aboriginal community and started developing her understanding of Aboriginal culture and Territory flavours, before moving on to restaurant, retail and catering enterprises throughout the Territory.

Many years in business later, a developing social conscience and desire to see real change in the NT led to a partnership with young long-term staff members and the development of the Karen Sheldon Group with Catering, Training, and Employment Service Divisions.

The Group soon recognised a real need across the community for a greater connection between training – both aspirational and technical - and long-term employment while providing strong social support.

Karen Sheldon Group set their sights on solution-focused and practical ways of working with local Aboriginal jobseekers towards closing the gap on Indigenous economic disadvantage.  With this focus guiding the next business chapter. Saltbush Social Enterprises was established and became the vehicle for continuing this work.