HUMN 2036 Mangamai'bangawarra: Indigenous Science

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 300959

Coordinator Hayley Green Opens in new window

Description This subject explores aspects of Aboriginal science and medical science in the treatment and prevention of illness. The subject 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

Discipline Indigenous Studies

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 2 subject


Successful completion of 60 credit points

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'harawal people.
  2. The diversity of the Indigenous environment, focusing 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.


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.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Participation N/A 10 N Individual
Essay 3000 words 40 N Individual
Presentation Max 10 minutes 25 N Individual
Reflection Less than 2,000 words 15 N Individual
Peer Review 1,500 words 10 N Individual

Teaching Periods

Summer (2023)



Subject Contact Hayley Green Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window