Macquarie-Yaegl partnership: community capability strengthening through Western and Indigenous science

Joanne F. Jamie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The rich customary knowledge possessed by Indigenous people from around the world has provided intellectually stimulating academic research opportunities and has been a successful avenue for healthcare and drug discovery as well as commercial native foods, flavours, fragrances, nutraceuticals, cosmetics, and agricultural products. When conducted with benefit sharing and reciprocity as core agenda, such research can provide community capability strengthening and immense rewards for both the Indigenous people and the academic research team involved, as well as benefiting potentially many others. This account shares my experiences as a natural products and medicinal chemistry academic, of working with Australian Aboriginal Elders, most notably from Yaegl Country of northern New South Wales, on investigating their bush medicines. Together we have facilitated the recognition and preservation of Yaegl Country customary knowledge and through initiation of a science leadership program, the National Indigenous Science Education Program, we have promoted educational attainment and STEM engagement in Australian Aboriginal youth. While this account is authored as my own personal statement of the Macquarie-Yaegl partnership, I am indebted to the Yaegl Aboriginal Elders and other Australian Aboriginal people I have worked with, and my university, school and community collaborators, my research team and student volunteers, who have all enabled the outcomes described in this account to be realised, and have made the experience so rewarding. I am also thankful to the Royal Australian Chemical Institute for the recognition of the value of this work through the award of a 2019 Royal Australian Chemical Institute Citation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-33
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Journal of Chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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