Introduction to Indigenous Bushfood Gardening and Environmental practices

Starting Wednesday* 19th of October – 6 weeks   

9.30 am – 2.30 pm  5 hours in class each week, with an additional / optional 2 hours research at home
Cost is $50 full fee / $25 concession*  
cost includes entry into the Aboriginal Heritage Walk at the Royal Botanical Garden and entry to Cranbourne Botanic Garden
*One week includes a visit to the local indigenous nursery which is only open Tuesdays. 
*The course is government funded, available to Australian citizens and residents. 
Bushfood Garden Selby Community House
Bushfood Garden Selby Community House

Selby Community House is located at the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges. The house has a beautiful native, bushfood indigenous garden and is surrounded by old growth forests and wetlands.


The aim of this course is to introduce the community to indigenous plants including those used as bushfoods and for medicinal practical uses. The course is very hands on and  practical and includes interactive activities as well as visits to a range of indigenous gardens and nurseries including the Royal Botanical Garden, where a guided tour will be provided (and is included in the course), Cranbourne Botanic Garden and the Southern Dandenongs Community Nursery


This course will also touch on environmental and sustainability practices and can lead onto further study or interests in horticultural and environmental management techniques, regional conservation and residential landscape design using native indigenous plants. 


We have limited places to 10.  Payment is not required on booking, we will obtain this off you once we confirm your place.  

Please complete an expression of interest form below to hold your place.

Week 1  – Introduction to Indigenous Gardening – 19th October

Explore Selby Community House’s own Indigenous Bushfoods Garden, identify the array of local plants and learn the difference between indigenous, endemic and native species. 

Week 2  – Visit to the Aboriginal Heritage Walk at the Royal Botanical Garden* – Melbourne 26th October 11 am   (The cost is covered in the course)

Visit the world famous Melbourne Royal Botanical Garden and participate in an Aboriginal Heritage Walk for 1 hour 30 minutes. 

Click here to view the video to see what is included.   (Date may be subject to change, due to availability). 

Week 3  –  2 November – The history and development of Indigenous Bushfoods within Australia

Delve into the history and gain an understanding of the development of indigenous bushfoods within Australia and the local environment. Consider the options of growing your own indigenous food at home. What is suitable, what soil and climate conditions indigenous plants require. Explore Minak Reserve (located next to the house) to identify environments and the relationship between indigenous plants. 

Week 4 – 8 November (Tuesday)  – Visit to the Southern Dandenongs Community Nursery* 

Visit this local indigenous Community Nursery located within Birdsland Reserve in Belgrave Heights. This unique area is home to remnant flora and the Southern Dandenongs Flora trail. Talk with the facilitators and learn about what indigenous plants are best to purchase or grow from seed. 

Week 5 – 16 November –  Visit the Cranbourne Botanical Gardens*

Visit Cranbourne Botanical Gardens and walk some of the 10km of walking tracks to marvel at the 450 indigenous plant species. Learn of their origins and uses. 

Week 6 –   23 November – Permaculture and the relationship with Indigenous, Environmental and Sustainable Practices.  

Explore the notion of environmental and sustainable systems and the symbiotic relationship that have been created between humans, nature and indigenous plants. Finish the course with a selection of indigenous bushfoods.


*Transport will be via public transport or via car pooling or your own private vehicle. Transport costs can be reimbursed if required.


Our Tutor

Kylie Colemane  (BIO)

  Kylie is a proud Darug and Wiradjuri First Nations person who is living on Bunurong/Boon Wurrung lands on the Mornington Peninsula, where she has resided for over a decade.   Originally from Central Western NSW she grew up surrounded in the country surrounded by Bushland.  

  Much time was spent growing up with her father & family out in the Bush; learning about plants.  Her interest in Native Plants
started from a young age. 

  Kylie says; “My dad is like a Plant Encyclopedia, he is full of knowledge which he is always sharing with people.  My father was
raised in a Nomadic way with time spent on the South Coast where his family distilled Eucalyptus Oil, setting up temporary Bush Shanties.  As a teen & young adult he lived in Sydney (Darug country) & many years on Wiradjuri Country (Cowra).  Having a strong connection to these areas and a thorough understanding of the Land there, he has always imparted this knowledge to his 3 children.”    As a Family connecting to Country has always been a Central part of our lives, from a young age this inspired Kylie to continue Learning & Working with the Land.

  Also having a grandmother who was a Chef & worked for a restaurant for over 35 years, much time was spent in the kitchen and her love for Food and local produce left an lasting Impression on her.

   Kylie completed an Environmental Traineeship working with Department of Soil Conservation, National Parks & local Councils on various projects including the use of Native Plants which were used to correct soil balance & filter toxins.  Further to that working with the ACT Government on an Educational Program (Landcare Environment Action Program).

   In recent years Kylie has been facilitating various Workshops in the following areas; Native Plant Journaling, Native Bush Dyeing, Cooking with Bushfoods, Native Plant Education at Laneway Learning Melbourne, at Schools & recently joining the team at CERES School of Climate & Nature Brunswick.    It is her desire to bring First nations Knowledge to the broader Community, by teaching people about Native /Indigenous Plants & encouraging them to use Bushfoods in every day life.  

   Kylie says; “Bushfoods are like Superfoods, with wonderful Health benefits, are abundant & ready to forage, providing Food
Sovereignty with little cost.  By starting a series of Native Plant Workshops focusing on Bushfoods my hope is for all people to identify local Plants & use them regularly.”

   Living on Bunurong/Boon Wurrung Country it is her passion to learn about Native Plants in Melbourne & surrounding areas, continuing to Educate about Indigenous Plants.    Teaching the Indigenous ways of; knowing, doing & being – helping to Align with our Earth, (or “Our Mother” as referred to by community. Reconnecting with Country & Nature is at the heart of this, taking only what is needed from the Land and replenishing Earth as its Custodians.