Click on the links above to listen to Frans remarkable story
Aunty Fran Bodkin grew up in inner Sydney, and first learned about the natural world from her mother, who was a descendent of the Dharawal people.
Her father, who was passionate about science, taught her some of the key principles of physics and biology from a young age.
When she was in primary school, Fran was taken from her family and ended up a series of foster homes.
Despite her difficult beginnings, Fran grew up to become a scientist, a botanist, and the author of several books including Encyclopaedia Botanica, which contains over 11,000 entries on Australian native plants.
She also became an educator, teaching children how the flowering of the Gymea lily is connected to the migration of whales, which acacias contain cyanide, and how meat ants can warn of a heatwave.
In the 1970s Fran played a key role in establishing the Mount Annan Botanic Gardens south of Sydney, which was once the site of a form of peaceful parliament for indigenous tribes from across Australia.
Fran is an Adjunct Fellow at the Centre for Health Research at Western Sydney University.