Bush tucker gold the tip of the iceberg

Jacinta CantatoreBunbury Herald
Film director Glen Strindberg and Noongar elder Ken Ninyette give viewers a glimpse of Bunbury's bushtucker secrets in their film series In Their Footprints.
Camera IconFilm director Glen Strindberg and Noongar elder Ken Ninyette give viewers a glimpse of Bunbury's bushtucker secrets in their film series In Their Footprints.

In bushland just minutes from suburbia lie pockets of delicious bush tucker, hidden in plain sight in Bunbury’s backyard, but soon to make it on to the international film circuit.

Within minutes of the Bunbury Herald arriving at our bush location, Noongar elder Ken Ninyette had identified more than 10 plants, shrubs, root vegetables and bush onions which could make a meal.

“There is food, medicine, shelter, tea,” Mr Ninyette said.

“There is so much here we can use.”

A behind-the-scenes look at Noongar elder Ken Ninyette as he uncovers a bloodroot plant.
Camera IconA behind-the-scenes look at Noongar elder Ken Ninyette as he uncovers a bloodroot plant.

Mr Ninyette’s knowledge of the region’s abundant natural foods is featured in a film series In Their Footprints: A bush tucker guide to the South West.

The series, which was screened as part of the CinefestOZ festival's Community Day, follows Mr Ninyette as he explains how food was gathered and prepared in the past, as well as showing how the food is used in contemporary Noongar culture.

“A weed to me is a plant of unknown value,” he said.

Born in Bunbury, Mr Ninyette has been a park ranger for more than 35 years.

Noongar elder Ken Ninyette.
Camera IconNoongar elder Ken Ninyette.

“The aim for me is to pass on my knowledge,” he said.

“I think the films do that. Without this, my knowledge will leave with me when I go.”

The series was directed and produced by South West media teacher Glen Strindberg and featured an all-South West cast and crew.

Film director Glen Strindberg learns about the bloodroot plant from Noongar elder Ken Ninyette.
Camera IconFilm director Glen Strindberg learns about the bloodroot plant from Noongar elder Ken Ninyette. Credit: Jacinta Cantatore

“We’ve only scratched the surface of what we could show people,” Mr Strindberg said.

“There is so much stuff out here. Until someone shows you, you don’t know.”

He said the hardest part of making the series was narrowing down what they would focus on.

“The massive untapped resources of food out here no one has any idea about is just phenomenal,” Mr Strindberg said.

In Their Footsteps will be screened at the Montreal Film Festival and other festivals on the international film circuit before it is officially released in Australia.

Updates on the Australian release dates will be on the production page here.

Noongar elder Ken Ninyette.
Camera IconNoongar elder Ken Ninyette. Credit: Picture: Jacinta Cantatore

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