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In traditional times, the gathering and eating of food was a social event.

It was very hard work and it involved the entire family and/or community. Each person had a job that they had to do - whether it was in the collection, preparation or cooking of the food. Aboriginal women provided most of the traditional bush foods required for each community and Torres Strait Islander women also were the main food providers for the family.

The women gathered the plant foods, garden foods, eg. yam, taro, cassava, wild yams, eggs, shellfish and small animals whilst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men fished and hunted for larger land and sea animals such as dugong, kangaroo and turtles.

Learning about daily survival, including food-gathering practices, began at an early age for both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. From the time they are born, children are included with the collection of food and other daily chores.


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