HUMN 2036 Mangamai'bangawarra: Indigenous Science

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 300959

Coordinator Samantha Venables Opens in new window

Description This unit explores aspects of Aboriginal science and medical science in the treatment and prevention of illness. The unit has a particular focus on the knowledge of the local D'harawal People. The culture and history of Indigenous Australians is introduced to provide a contextual backdrop to the study of Indigenous medical remedies from eastern Australia, the deserts, and the tropics. To complement this study, Indigenous perspectives on the seasons, weather and land management will be studied.

School Science

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 2 subject

Assumed Knowledge

Equivalent to a basic understanding of Level 1 introductory biology and chemistry.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Contrast Indigenous and European methods of transmitting knowledge from generation to generation,
  2. Consider Indigenous perspectives on culture and history, and appraise their integration into daily lives in areas such as the role of food sources in maintaining good health.
  3. Identify the Indigenous seasons and the perspective on weather.
  4. Evaluate the benefits of Indigenous methods of land management, including the roles of fire, conservation and sustainability.
  5. Identify and evaluate the effects of common plant treatments in the desert, eastern Australia and the tropics.
  6. Identify and evaluate the effects of common treatments based on animal and insect products.
  7. Critically appraise the methods and underlying presumptions of modern pharmaceutical science in research on Indigenous medicinal treatments.

Subject Content

1. Introduction to Indigenous culture and history, with an emphasis on the D?fharawal people.
2. The diversity of the Indigenous environment, focussing on the desert, eastern Australia and the tropics, and the role of seasons on those environments.
3. Indigenous relationship to the land and to sustainable land management and care.
4. Common plant treatments in the desert, eastern Australia and the tropics.
5. Treatments derived from animal products and insects.
6. The interaction of modern pharmaceutical science with Indigenous medical treatments.
7. The role of diet in maintaining good health in diverse environments desert, eastern Australia and the tropics).


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Discussion Board Participation N/A 10 N Individual
Oral Communication Exercise 3000 words 25 N Group
Electronic Presentation Max 10 minutes 25 N Individual
Final Examination 2 hours 40 N Individual

Teaching Periods

2022 Semester 2



Subject Contact Sarojini Monteiro Opens in new window

Attendance Requirements 80% attendance rate is imposed in all core subjects’ due to the nature of class activities that are aligned with subject assessments.

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