Ava Jenkin: The Invasion of Traditional Knowledge: Bush Medicine in the Commercial Age

“I knew I wanted to do this course before going into Year 11,” Ava Jenkin.

“This country’s Indigenous history is not something we learn about in High School History classes, and I have always felt that it is an ignored subject of importance.

“The major work aspect of this course was also very appealing, as it allows for a lot of freedom of choice.

“Social justice is a huge theme throughout this course, and our tasks on government policy and learning about the nature of intergenerational trauma has been very emotional, but highly important and interesting. Learning about injustices that would otherwise go unlearnt in other courses has also inspired career paths for my future.”

For her major work, Ava wrote a report about traditional knowledge surrounding Indigenous bush medicines.

“I explored how colonial experiences and attitudes have affected the commercial process, and how faults in consulting Indigenous communities has led to exploitation,” she said.

“The most enjoyable aspect of the major work has definitely been talking with communities. I learned the most invaluable knowledge by traveling to North Stradbroke Island and to Coffs Harbour to talk to Indigenous Elders, and it was an irreplaceable experience to be met by such wise people who encouraged their traditional knowledge to be passed on for cross-cultural education.”