Gaining an education in bush medicine

The Central Australia Rural and Aboriginal Health Club (CARAH) together with Flinders NT staff Pene Curtis and Vicki Hale, recently arranged a Bush Medicine Workshop with local Warumungu people in Tennant Creek.

The workshop, conducted by Piliyintinji-Ki Stronger Families Women’s Program and designed to provide an alternative perspective on medicine, was well attended by fifteen Nursing, Medical and Allied Health students on placement in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek.

The day began with an enlightening tour of Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre which included learning about the history, flora and fauna of the Tennant Creek region, examining bush foods being grown in the garden, meeting artists at work and visiting the sacred site of the Spiky-tailed Goanna, Nyinkka.

A Smoking Ceremony was performed by the ladies from Piliyintinji-Ki Stronger Families, Patricia Frank (Women’s Centre Team Leader), Tendai Jazi (Female Counsellor), Julie James (Warlpiri / Warlmanpa) Elder and Melissa Rankine (Community Support Worker).

Visiting the surrounding areas of Tennant Creek provided an opportunity for participants to inspect medicine bushes including Native Lemon Grass, Spinifex Wax and Eucalyptus, and learn about their collection and various medicinal uses.

Participants later enjoyed an interactive session on processing and cooking two bush medicines made from Yakkula (Spinifex Wax) and Kunjamarra (Eucalyptus), producing a jar of each to take home.

An evening BBQ was a perfect way to end the thoroughly enjoyable and educational day.

Bush Medicine Workshop
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Centre for Remote Health (CRH) Flinders NT Student Placements