Agriculture a career for everyone: High school resources

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Ethical and sustainable production of sandalwood

Lesson overview

Students will investigate the global sandalwood industry and learn how demand for ethically and sustainably grown sandalwood has grown in recent times and provided opportunities for Australian producers.

Australian Curriculum: Technology

Design and Technologies
  • Years 9 and 10 - Critically analyse factors, including social, ethical and sustainability considerations, that impact on designed solutions for global preferred futures and the complex design and production processes involved (ACTDEK040)
  • Investigate and make judgments on the ethical and sustainable production and marketing of food and fibre (ACTDEK044)


Tuning In

View ‘From Soil to Oil’ video clip, by Tropical Forestry Services, 2015

Whole class introduction

Many famous perfume houses in Europe, such as Chanel, Christian Dior and Calvin Klein use Indian sandalwood as a base fragrance.[1] In the past decade perfume companies have been looking for more ethical sources of sandalwood that are not taken from wild environments. Plantation-harvested sandalwood can be easily traced back to where it is grown, and does not involve depletion of native sandalwood habitats.

One of the biggest sources of plantation-grown Indian sandalwood in the world is at Kununurra, in the remote north of Western Australia. A Western Australian lawyer and businessman called Frank Wilson has developed the sandalwood plantation. He now travels the world, meeting with perfume and pharmaceutical companies, to promote his Australian-grown ethical Indian sandalwood.


Nikki Poulish