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Indigenous plants

Full Day
Book Program
Year Levels


Ecolinc is located on land originally inhabited by both the Wurundjeri and Wathawurrung people of the Kulin nation.  The Ecolinc wetland features a range of indigenous plants, including plants that were originally utilised by the indigenous people for a number of uses.  Various parts of the plant were used for specific purposes, for food, medicine, fibre, tools and weapons.
Many of these plants find use in modern Australia. Eucalyptus oil is a particularly widespread and familiar product derived from native trees, and many traditional food plants find use as novel flavourings in the increasingly popular “bushfood” cuisine.  As these plants are particularly suited to the local climate of southern Victoria, they are easily propagated and raised, and indeed will thrive with little additional water or fertiliser.

Key Learning Question

How can Aboriginal knowledge of plants improve our everyday life?

Learning Intentions

In this activity students will:

  • Understand the term bush food
  • Demonstrate the ability to identify a range of bush food plants in the Ecolinc indigenous garden
  • Understand how bush food plants were used as food, medicine and materials by indigenous people
  • Learn how to propagate bush food seeds and cuttings in the Ecolinc glasshouse.


Students will:

  • Explore the Ecolinc indigenous garden and identify a range of bush food plants
  • Discover and identify parts of bush food plants that were used by indigenous people, and experience some of the unique aromas produced by these plants
  • Propagate bush food seeds and cuttings in the glasshouse
  • Use parts of indigenous plants as materials for tools and weaving.

Victorian Curriculum

  • Science knowledge helps people to understand the effects of their actions (VCSSU056)
  • Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things (VCSSU057)
  • Different living things have different life cycles and depend on each other and the environment to survive (VCSSU058)
  • Natural and processed materials have a range of physical properties; these properties can influence their use (VCSSU060)
  • Investigate food and fibre production used in modern or traditional societies (VCDSTC025)
  • Investigate the suitability of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment for a range of purposes (VCDSTC027)
  • The many Countries/Places of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout Australia, and the custodial responsibility they have for Country/Place, and how this influences views about sustainability (VCGGK080)