New book on traditional Aboriginal plant use

If you’ve ever wanted to know a little more about how local plants have been used by aboriginal people, check out the newly released Ngunnawal Plant Use Guide.

Traditional owners in the ACT region, the Ngunnawal people, used and continue to use local plant resources for food, medicine, tools and weapons, fire, ceremonial purposes, water, fibre, dye and paint.

One of our team, Adam Shipp, helped collate plant use information for the new field guide, and worked tirelessly with traditional owners to ensure the information was accurate. For Adam and the rest of our team who helped put the book together, it was a real privilege to work with such a wonderful group of people.

The field guide provides fascinating information on native plants and their many uses. The guide features descriptions and photos of 69 plant species, including their Ngunnawal use, distribution, and method of propagation.


Ngunnawal Plant Use is available online, from the Namadgi and Tidbinbilla Visitors Centres, the Australian National Botanic Gardens bookshop and the National Arboretum Canberra.

The book was developed by the Environment and Planning Directorate (EPD) in partnership with the ACT Parks and Conservation Service, the United Ngunnwal Elders Council, the Ngunnawal community, Greening Australia, EPD Aboriginal trainees employed under the Caring for the Cotter catchment project and Murrumbung Yurung Murra staff (a network of ACT Government Aboriginal staff working in NRM, Heritage and Parks).

Funding for the book was provided by the Australian Government.

Proceeds from the sale of the book will support Aboriginal natural resource management in the ACT.