The Sugarbag

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The Sugarbag is the adventure story of Jimmy and Max, two young brothers, who are on their way to visit their grandfather.

Walking through the bush, they encounter an Australian native stingless bee buzzing around their heads. This gives Jimmy the opportunity to teach little Max all he has learned from his grandfather about hunting for ‘sugarbag’. Sugarbag is the European word for the honey produced by the stingless bee.

The boys go racing through the bush in pursuit of the bee, hoping it will lead them to its hive.

This is Max’s first encounter with hunting for sugarbag and he doesn’t really understand what they are searching for, preferring to imagine some sort of bush treasure trove filled with sweets.

‘Sugarbag is a favourite treat for Aboriginal people. We call it ngarruu. When Grandfather was a little boy, he went hunting for ngarruu with his father,’ Jimmy explained proudly.

About the Author

Nola Turner-Jensen is a Wiradjuri woman from the river country in Central West NSW. She is proud of her Aboriginal background as well as the Irish and English heritage from her fathers side. Nola and her family have settled North of Brisbane for the last 20 years, where she studied and became an active social worker, working with Aboriginal youth.

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Cite this page

Korff, J 2020, The Sugarbag, <>, retrieved 23 June 2024

Creative Spirits is a starting point for everyone to learn about Aboriginal culture. Please use primary sources for academic work.

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