Friday, 07 December 2012
Edith Cowan University (ECU) and the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) have officially launched the Nyoongar Seasonal Calendar, which shares the traditional weather knowledge of the Indigenous people from the Southwest of WA.
Joining Indigenous calendars from across Australia, the newest edition to the BOM website pays tribute to the expansive weather knowledge of the South West Indigenous population, which dates back thousands of years.
“Today the Nyoongar people are welcomed as the newest member of the Indigenous Weather Knowledge project, sharing valuable cultural knowledge about our weather and climate, complementing modern scientific methods and technology,” Dr Rob Vertessy, Bureau of Meteorology Director said.
ECU Cultural Awareness Officer, Mr Jason Barrow, has worked on Aboriginal cultural projects for more than 15 years, and was the key cultural advisor on the project.
His cultural background and experience has allowed him to pick up on the many subtle environmental changes that occur throughout the year, and the relationship this has with our weather patterns.
“I thoroughly enjoy reading the country around me and being able to share what I see with others who are interested in learning about where they live. If more people can tune into their surroundings, then we’ll start to appreciate what we have rather than continually looking to change it,” Mr Barrow said.
“It also makes the commute to and from work far more enjoyable when you actually ‘see’ the plants and animals going about their business, letting us know what sort weather we can expect at particular times of the year, or even giving us an insight into what’s in store for the weekend.”
The Nyoongar seasons can be long or short and are indicated by what is happening and changing around us rather than by dates on a calendar.
This six-season calendar is extremely important to Nyoongar people, as it is guides what nature is doing at every stage of the year, as well as and also helps develop an understanding and respect for the land in relation to plant and animal fertility cycles and land and animal preservation.
For further information, and to view the Nyoongar Weather Calendar online, visit the Bureau of Meteorology website.