The Indigenous Australian medicines project

The Indigenous Australian medicines project is an Australian Research Council funded project which explores how Australian regulatory systems can better support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Knowledge (TK) holders to commercialise their traditional medicine. The project focuses on the case study of the mudjala plant and aims to work with the Kimberley’s Nyikina people to generate new anthropological methods for documenting TK related to traditional medicine, new models for regulating traditional medicinal products, and pharmacological insights into traditional methods of activating the plant. In addition, the expected outcomes include unlocking the significant, untapped potential for Indigenous Australians to benefit from the development of traditional medicine products regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

This project brings together lawyers, anthropologists and biochemists from the Australian National University, the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, and Griffith University with partner organisation Kimberley Land Council (KLC) and Indigenous Research Collaborators from the Nyikina Mangala community. The research is also guided by an Indigenous Advisory Group comprising of Mr John Watson, Ms Annie Milgin, Mr Anthony Watson, Mr Gerry Turpin, Mr Luke Williams, and a KLC representative. 

In all aspects of the project, we follow the AIATSIS guidelines for ethical research, which can be found here. This research project has received ethics approval from the Australian National University’s Human Research Ethics Committee and from the Kimberley Land Council through their Research Ethics and Access Committee (REAC).    

We acknowledge all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Custodians of Country and recognise their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.