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Indigenous Understanding MYBennies: Bush Tucker/Medicine


Acknowledgement of Country

Mount St Benedict College acknowledges and pays respect to the past and present traditional custodians and Elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Ancestors have walked this country and we acknowledge their special and unique place in our nation’s historical, cultural and linguistic identity.

Visitors should be aware that this Research Guide may contain images or documentation relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are deceased.

Finding Resources in Accessit

Here are some books that you may find useful during your studies.  Search the Bennies catalogue Accessit for more, or browse the Non-fiction collection NFS...

Tucker Bush

ABC News

Top 10 Australian native foods you need in your kitchen


Cooking with Native Australian Food.

Sydney Wildflower Nursery

Bush Tucker Plants and their Uses

Australian Geographic

IN TRADITIONAL ABORIGINAL CULTURE, the concept of healing an individual through the natural environment  – using bush medicine – was ultimately entwined with the spiritual world and not just the physical. A healer was not just a ‘bush clinician’, but also an expert medium operating between the sick and the spiritual world.

Indigenous Australia

Fruits, vegetables, minerals and animals all come from the bush. Traditionally these were hunted and gathered in various ways by different people.
There are many distinct processes involved in selecting and preparing animal, vegetable and mineral products for use.
Over many thousands of years Aboriginal people have perfected the skill of obtaining and preparing these natural materials into edible foods


Bush foods - or bush tucker - have been consumed for thousands of years in Australia, and it makes us unique in the world when it comes to cuisine. For most of the time humans have been consuming bush foods they have done so on a non-cultivated, non-commercial basis. In recent decades however, some of Australia's bush tucker is being harvested commercially and sold around the world.

Naturally growing foods in Australia are the least understood by non-indigenous people. A range of indigenous foods, their traditional uses and incorporation into modern cooking are explored. This program looks at a native garden and the range of products sold at markets and fairs, as well as a commercial scale operation.

You Tube

ABC Splash

Did you know that you can mix the nectar from some native flowers with water to make a sweet drink? Explore the Royal Botanic Gardens of Sydney with Gardening Australia presenter Clarence Stockee, and discover plants used by Aboriginal people. Find out about some native Australian bush foods, such as Kurrajong seeds, and how to prepare them safely.

Learning from Les’ Bush Tucker Garden Totems • What is a totem? • What are Les’ totems • Where is Les’ country? Connections to Country • How does the Acacia tell us what is happening to the animals and plants on country? • How is everything connected? • How might this concept of connection to country be taught? • What are the many uses for the acacia? Plants • What are the uses for Dianella Longifolia (Lily)?

Steve takes a tour through Maalinup Aboriginal Gallery where he samples some delicious bush tucker delights that everyone can enjoy.


World Book

Bush Tucker Garden

The Bush Tucker garden features plants native to the greater Sydney area, some of which were used in traditional food and medicine by the Darug and other Indigenous people. The garden is located at the eastern end of campus between Wally's Walk and building E7B, near the thermal storage tower.

Australian National Botanic Garden

A bibliography of bush-foods and Aboriginal uses, prepared by the staff at the Australian National Botanic Gardens Library.

ABC Splash

The topic Bush tucker features ABC educational resources and supports the teaching of Science as part of the Australian curriculum.

SBS Food


Before European settlers arrived in Australia, there was a thriving food culture, one that happily sustained the Aboriginal people for tens of thousands of years. However, that food culture, often referred to as bush tucker, has been largely ignored over the past 200 years.


Links to Information about Bush Tucker