Funders:

Collaborators:

         

 

Aims:

The Traditional Australian Medicinal Plants Agribusiness project is an Australian-first $1.01 million research and commercial partnership that aims to explore the development of a sustainable agribusiness model for traditional Australian medicinal plants growing in Northern Australia.
 

The partnership includes Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies), Traditional Homeland Enterprises (T.H.E.), Integria Healthcare (Integria), The University of Queensland and the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA).
 

Traditional medicinal plants will be evaluated to develop prototype healthcare products. Together in consultation with Indigenous organisations and Traditional Owners in the Top End, the suitability and sustainability of potential marketable plants will be assessed. We will work together to develop pathways to successful business models, developing benefit sharing and intellectual property arrangements that recognise traditional knowledge and plant origins. A long term aim of the project is to develop on-country economic opportunities for Indigenous communities.

 

The Menzies Child Health Laboratory will have a leading role in examining the antimicrobial activity of documented medicinal plants traditionally used by Top End Indigenous communities against pathogens that have significant impacts on rural and remote communities. This work will also provide training opportunities for young Indigenous scientists in the lab.

Northern Territory communities using or producing bush medicines, currently undertaking commercial harvest of plant products (for example Kakadu Plum), with established ranger or women’s groups involved in land care, who are interested or want to be keep up to date in the progress of the study are invited to contact us.
 

Chief Investigator:
Project Manager:
Project Dates:

The project commenced in October 2018 and will conclude in December 2020.

 

 

 
MSc/PhD Scholarship opportunity: Identifying antimicrobial and antibiofilm properties of traditional medicinal plants in northern Australia
 

An exciting MSc or PhD scholarship opportunity working with a national team of scientists is available now: Identifying antimicrobial and anti-biofilm properties of traditional medicinal plants in northern Australia  
 
The Research Project: 

Charles Darwin University - Applications are invited for the following scholarship leading to the degree of MSc or PhD. 

Identifying antimicrobial and anti-biofilm properties of traditional medicinal plants in northern Australia
 

Traditional Australian medicinal plants remain an underdeveloped biological, cultural and economic resource, despite the global popularity of traditional and natural medicines from other parts of the world (worth an estimated US$83 billion). With Australian natural healthcare and agriproducts enjoying an international reputation for their high quality and clean image, enabling the development of a local industry represents opportunities in areas such as Indigenous workforce development, sustainable regional development in Northern Australia, and export of unique Australian products. 
 
The overall aim of this program is to identify a selected number of traditional medicinal plants with antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and/or anti-biofilm activity. Chemical characterisation of key extracts will be used to identify major active constituents. Selected active extracts that are proven to be safefor-use will be submitted for low level registration with the Therapeutics Goods Administration. This registration will be applied to the prototype topical anti-microbial and/or anti-inflammatory products developed in this pilot study. The data thus generated will provide insights into commercially sustainable and viable products that will then feed back into the supply chain and provide an initial focus and validation of the agribusiness model. 
 
The MSc/PhD student will play in integral part in this project by using various microbiological methodologies to test a range of medicinal plant extracts for antimicrobial and anti-biofilm activity against a range of clinically important pathogens. In addition, the student will have the opportunity to play a role in the broader project, including anti-inflammatory testing, chemical characterisation, or qualitative aspects. 
 
Eligibility:

Applicants must be Australian Citizens or permanent residents of Australia who are acceptable as candidates for a Masters or PhD degree at the Charles Darwin University. Applications must be eligible to apply for an RTP scholarship. 

Stipend:
The scholarship will be for 3 years and is tax exempt, subject to the Australian Taxation Office approval. 

Students with a background in microbiology are strongly encouraged to apply. 

For further information:

Please contact Associate Professor Heidi Smith-Vaughan. Telephone: 08 8946 8580 or 0428 199 502; or email: Heidi.smith-vaughan@menzies.edu.au 

  1. The meat-eating bladderwort traps aquatic animals at lightning speed

    The meat-eating bladderwort traps aquatic animals at lightning speed

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    Dr Greg Leach writes for the The Conversation's Beating around the bush.

  2. Meet the Kakadu plum: an international superfood thousands of years in the makin

    Meet the Kakadu plum: an international superfood thousands of years in the makin

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    The Conversation - Beating Around the Bush - Article by Dr Greg Leach - Meet the Kakadu Plum.

  3. CRCNA Newsletter | May 2019

    CRCNA Newsletter | May 2019

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    Menzies School of Health Research trainee Raelene Collins has been nominated for a top award for her work in the lab as part of the CRCNA's traditional Australian medicinal plant agribusiness project.

  4. Bizarrely distributed and verging on extinction, this ‘mystic’ tree went unidentified for 17 years

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    Dr Greg Leach writes about taking a specimen collected in the southern part of Kakadu National Park to the mecca of botanical knowledge in London, the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.

  5. NT News | Researching the North

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    NT News Business section - Opinion by Tracey Hayes - Director of the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing North Australia.

  6. Project aims to develop roadmap for a sustainable bush medicine industry

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    Life Matters talks to Queensland University medicinal chemist Jo Blanchfield and Taylah Church, an Indigenous trainee at the Menzies School of Health Research, about the project.

  7. 2GB | National Rural News November 8, 2018

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    In today’s National Rural News a new research project to draw on the knowledge of Indigenous communities at 2:52"

  8. SBS |Bush medicine and hopes to export it overseas

    SBS |Bush medicine and hopes to export it overseas

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    Research project investigating the possibility of developing commercial sector.

  9. Open Forum.com.au | Bush plant medicine project set to bloom

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    An Australian-first research and commercial partnership aims to explore the development of a sustainable agribusiness model for traditional Australian medicinal plants growing in northern Australia.

  10. ABC NT Country Hour | Bush medicine opportunities go under the microscope

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    Indigenous medicinal plants will be put under the microscope as part of an Australian-first research project to look at commercialisation opportunities for bush medicine.

  11. Xinhua.com | Aussie researchers tap native medicinal plants in major agribusiness project

    Xinhua.com | Aussie researchers tap native medicinal plants in major agribusiness project

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  12. Katherine Times | Project to grow bush medicine business

    Katherine Times | Project to grow bush medicine business

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    An Australian-first $1.01 million research and commercial partnership aims to explore the development of a sustainable agribusiness model for traditional Australian medicinal plants growing in Northern Australia.

  13. Media Release | GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR BUSH MEDICINE RESEARCH

    Media Release | GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR BUSH MEDICINE RESEARCH

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    The Coalition Government is contributing more than $360,000 to research traditional Australian medicinal plants.

  14. Media Release | Bush medicine partnership to sow seeds of collaboration

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  15. Mirage News | Bush medicine partnership to sow seeds of collaboration

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