Science in the Wild

15 August 2019

NICM and Western Sydney University researchers participated in the Sydney Science Festival’s ‘Science in the Wild’ held at the Australian Botanic Gardens, showcasing the superpowers that can be found in nature.

Beatrice Venkataya, NICM Bush Medicine Research Officer and organiser of the University exhibit says: “The event was a great opportunity to showcase bush medicine research to the general public and create greater awareness of the importance of Australian native plants to Aboriginal people and uses as medicine.”

Presenting with Beatrice was Adjunct Fellow Frances (Auntie Fran) Bodkin, Professor Gerald Muench, and School of Medicine students Mellisa Soesanto and Yuen Jing Law.

The exhibit displayed educational poster detailing bush medicines used in the Aboriginal Healing Gardens at Campbelltown Hospital - created for the patients and visitors of the hospital - as well as laboratory work identifying the components of select Dharawal plants that give the plants their medicinal properties.

The researchers also spoke with attendees about the uses and healing benefits of eucalyptus and tea-tree leaves, the plants of which are commonly available in south west Sydney, and have been used traditionally for the overall wellbeing of the Dharawal peoples, traditional custodians of the land Tharawal.

Despite extremely cold and windy conditions, crowd attendance was strong with approximately 4500 people attending the event.