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Discover Indigenous perspectives and facts about native plants collected during Endeavour’s 1770 voyage.

Australia’s First Peoples have a much older knowledge of these plants, many which were previously unknown in Europe. Learn about plants through creation stories, how they mark the seasons and provide food, medicine and materials for making everyday items.

Knowing Plants includes videos on cultural significance and plant uses and rich illustrations of specimens collected by botanists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander.

Sydney golden wattle 2:08

Uncle Rodney Mason and his granddaughter, Kodie Mason, talk about Sydney golden wattle in Kamay Botany Bay National Park.

About Knowing Plants

In the lead up to the 250th anniversary of the Endeavour voyage, these communities were looking for ways to share their knowledge when the Museum reached out to them. This online collection wouldn't be as rich without the participation and knowledge shared by these communities:

  • Kamay (Botany Bay) in New South Wales
  • Gooragan (Bustard Bay/Seventeen Seventy) in southern Queensland
  • Waalumbaal Burri (Endeavour River) at Cooktow in Far North Queensland.

Knowing Plants also includes some plants significant to Indigenous people, which were not collected by Banks and Solander.

Australian Curriculum links

The diversity of Australia's first peoples and the long and continuous connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to Country/Place (land, sea, waterways and skies) (ACHASSK083)

The nature of contact between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and others, for example, the Macassans and the Europeans, and the effects of these interactions on, for example, people and environments (ACHASSK086)

Understand that Standard Australian English is one of many social dialects used in Australia, and that while it originated in England it has been influenced by many other languages (ACELA1487)

Understand that social interactions influence the way people engage with ideas and respond to others for example when exploring and clarifying the ideas of others, summarising their own views and reporting them to a larger group (ACELA1488)

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