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Indigenous Food: Overview
Senior School topic guide supporting the Australian Curriculum Cross Curriculum priority of Indigenous Understanding
Mel Baxter takes you into a world of whimsical botanical illustrations and fascinating information in 100 Australian Wildflowers. This handy field guide features 100 native Australian flowering plants with a basic planting guide, and traditional uses by First Nations People, with many of the plant names listed in First languages alongside their 'fancy' botanical name.
"It's estimated there are up to 5,000 native food species (almost 20 per cent of Australia’s native flora and fauna) that were utilised by the Aboriginal people.... Traditional bush tucker is innovative and unique: food sources extend from the swollen abdomens of honey ants to witchetty grubs; goanna to nectar-bearing flowers such as the bottlebrush." (SBS Food, 2008)
Reference / citation: SBS Food (2008) or (SBS Food, 2008)
Reference list / Bibliography: SBS Food. (2008). About Native Australian food. Retrieved from https://www.sbs.com.au/food/article/2008/07/01/about-native-australian-food
Reference / citation: SBS Food (2017) or (SBS Food, 2017)
Reference list / Bibliography: SBS Food. (2008). Key ingredients: Native Australian. Retrieved from https://www.sbs.com.au/food/article/2013/05/31/key-ingredients-native-australian
"Climate change is disproportionately threatening the cultures and health of Indigenous peoples globally. With intimate knowledge of Country, Indigenous Australians are actively adapting to challenges, finding opportunities for new initiatives and alliances to strengthen cultural practices." (Nursey-Bray, 2019, August 30)
Reference / citation: Nursey-Bray (2019, August 30) or (Nursey-Bray, 2019, August 30)
Reference list / Bibliography: Nursey-Bray, M. (2019, August 30). Not passive victims: Indigenous Australians respond to climate change [Culture]. Foreground: Cities, Places and the People Who Make Them. Retrieved from https://www.foreground.com.au/culture/not-passive-victims-indigenous-australians-respond-to-climate-change/
"Australia’s first people ate a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts and other plant foods, many of which would have taken considerable time and knowledge to prepare, according to our analysis of charred plant remains from a site dating back to 65,000 years ago." (Florin, Fairbairn, & Clarkson, 2020)
Reference / citation: Florin, Fairbairn, & Clarkson (2020) or (Florin, Fairbairn, & Clarkson, 2020)
Reference list / Bibliography: Florin, S. A, Fairbairn, A., & Clarkson, C. (2020). 65,000-year-old plant remains show the earliest Australians spent plenty of time cooking. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/65-000-year-old-plant-remains-show-the-earliest-australians-spent-plenty-of-time-cooking-131761
"It has long been thought that prior to white settlement, Indigenous Australians lived a nomadic, hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Now some scholars argue that the first Australians practised forms of agriculture and aquaculture" (Pryor, 2014, May 15)
Reference / citation: Pryor (2014, May 15) or (Pryor, 2014, May 15)
Reference list / Bibliography: Pryor, C. (2014, May 15). Rethinking Indigenous Australia's agricultural past, ABC Radio National. https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/archived/bushtelegraph/rethinking-indigenous-australias-agricultural-past/5452454
Bruce Pascoe - Author of "Dark Emu", published by Magabala Books
Bill Gammage - Historian and author of "The Biggest Estate on Earth", published by Allen and Unwin
Beth Gott - Adjunct research fellow at the Department of Biological Sciences, Monash University
Heather Builth - Consultant archaeologist
Jimmy Onus - Gunditjmara man from the Lake Condah district of western Victoria
Dr Penny Wurm - Associate Head of the School of Environment, Charles Darwin University
Lorraine Williams - Larrakia woman who has been working on the native rice project
Ken Stewart - Indigenous facilitator with the Mallee Catchment Management Authority, north-western Victoria
Indigenous Food | Overview: eBooks
Click on the following book covers or link to access the book online. If prompted, sign in with your School mConnect user name and password. Click HERE for help using these EBSCO eBooks.
‘Dark Emu injects a profound authenticity into the conversation about how we Australians understand our continent... [It is] essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what Australia once was, or what it might yet be if we heed the lessons of long and sophisticated human occupation.'Judges for 2016 NSW Premier's Literary Awards Dark Emu puts forward an argument for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. The evidence insists that Aboriginal people right across the continent were using domesticated plants, sowing, harvesting, irrigating, and storing — behaviours inconsistent with the hunter-gatherer tag. Gerritsen and Gammage in their latest books support this premise but Pascoe takes this further and challenges the hunter-gatherer tag as a convenient lie. Almost all the evidence in Dark Emu comes from the records and diaries of the Australian explorers, impeccable sources.
The book is unique, spanning the gap between botany and indigenous studies. It differs from other published Australian'bushtucker'overviews by treating the study of plants as a window upon which to delve into Aboriginal culture. The topic of Aboriginal use and perception of plants is vast and therefore far too large for full treatment of all regions in a single volume. Nevertheless, this book offers an overview to assist readers appreciate the depth of indigenous ecological knowledge about the environment.
"Australian hunter-gatherers relied upon a few key food technologies in order to provide a surplus for feasts, and to survive periods of hardship due to lack of readily obtained food. Much of the desert was only inhabitable in the long term with the use of seed and nardoo grinding technology. In the tropics, and in parts of the temperate zone, the leaching of poisons was a major technology for food production." (Clarke, 2011, pp. 85-95)
Reference / citation: Clarke (2011, pp. 85-95)or (Clarke, 2011, pp. 85-95)
Reference list / Bibliography: Clarke, P. (2011). Chapter 7 Plant food technology. In Aboriginal People and Their Plants (pp. 85-95). https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=463972&site=ehost-live&scope=site&authtype=ip,sso&custid=mggsvic&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_85
Before European settlers arrived in Australia, there was a thriving food culture, one that happily sustained the Australian Aboriginal people for tens of thousands of years. It's estimated there are up to 5,000 native food species (almost 20 per cent of Australia’s native flora and fauna) that were utilised by the Australian Aboriginal people. Traditional bush tucker is innovative and unique: food sources extend from the swollen abdomens of honey ants to witchetty grubs; goanna to nectar-bearing flowers such as the bottlebrush. (SBS, n.d.)
Laura Mecca on finding an Italian staple in 1970s Melbourne. (Museums Victoria, 2019)
In text reference / citation: Museums Victoria (2020) or (Museums Victoria, 2020) Bibliography / Reference list: Museums Victoria, (2020). Unboxing the museum: Bread samples. [eVideo]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/DWVn8Lgxaeo
Indigenous Food | Overview: Curriculum alignment
This Mentone Girls' Grammar School Library guide supports the following Australian and / or Victorian curriculum outcomes.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are strong, rich and diverse. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Identity is intrinsically linked to living, learning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, deep knowledge traditions and holistic world view.
The capacity to process or reflect on the meaning of experience is an essential element in intercultural learning. Reflecting to better understand the actions of individuals and groups in specific situations and how these are shaped by culture. Reflecting on their own responses to intercultural encounters and to identify cultural influences that may have contributed to these. Learning to ‘stand between cultures’ and mediate cultural difference.
• comparing land and water management methods in contemporary Australian food and fibre production with traditional Aboriginal systems and countries of Asia, for example minimum-tillage cropping, water-efficient irrigation
• investigating the management of plant and animal growth through natural means and with the use of chemical products like herbicides and medicines when producing food and fibre products
• recognising the need to increase food production using cost efficient, ethical and sustainable production techniques
• describing physical and chemical characteristics of soil and their effects on plant growth when producing food and fibre products
• investigating different animal feeding strategies such as grazing and supplementary feeding, and their effects on product quality, for example meat tenderness, wool fibre diameter (micron), milk fat and protein content when producing food and fibre products
• recognising the importance of food and fibre production to Australia’s food security and economy including exports and imports to and from Asia when critiquing and exploring food and fibre production
* examining the relationship between food preparation techniques and the impact on nutrient value, for example steaming or frying vegetables
* investigating how a recipe can be modified to enhance nutrient benefits, and justifying decisions, for example by replacing animal fats with vegetable fats
* analysing food preparation techniques used in different cultures including those from the Asia region and the impact of these on nutrient retention, aesthetics, taste and palatability, for example stir-frying or steaming
* explaining how food preparation techniques impact on the sensory properties (flavour, appearance, texture, aroma) of food, for example the browning of cut fruit, the absorption of water when cooking rice
Scientific knowledge and understanding of the world changes as new evidence becomes available; science knowledge can develop through collaboration and connecting ideas across the disciplines and practice of science
• investigating how advances in telescopes and space probes have provided new evidence about space
• investigating how the development of microscopes has changed understanding of cell function and malfunction, and how this has led to improved medical treatments for disease
• investigating how knowledge of the location and extraction of mineral resources relies on expertise from across the disciplines of science
• considering how advances in technology, combined with scientific understanding of the functioning of body systems, has enabled organ repair and replacement
• investigating how land management practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can help inform sustainable management of the environment