Clontarf Aboriginal College opens new Nyoongar seasonal garden

07 June 2022

Fr Sebastian Fernando

Clontarf Aboriginal College welcomed the start of Makuru season in the Nyoongar seasonal calendar by opening its new seasonal garden on 3 June.

The Clontarf seasonal garden represents a connection to land and culture and was opened with a traditional Welcome to Country, smoking ceremony, ribbon cutting and blessing to launch the new addition.

Families reconnected and recognised the changes that had occurred in each other, in their time away from their boarding family members, taking the opportunity to share a meal and reflect on the beautiful surrounds of nature.

Clontarf Principal Frances Haji-Ali acknowledged the importance of bringing families from local and remote regions together as a school community.

“There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes, organising families to travel from all over the state.  It’s a big community event and good opportunity for everyone to come from locations such as Kununurra, Derby and other remote northern regions as well as our local families too,” she said.

The Nyoongar seasons can be long or short, with the transitions depicted by what is happening and changing around us rather than by dates on a calendar. The seasons provides an understanding and respect for the land in relation to plant and animal fertility cycles and preservation.

This six-season calendar is extremely important culturally as it is a guide to what nature is doing by natural course, at every stage of the year.

Makuru

(Winter June July)

Season of fertility and coldest, wettest season of the year.

Djilba

(First Spring August to September)

The season of conception and is a mixture of wet days with an increasing number of clear cold nights.

Kambarang

(Second Spring October to November)

The Season of birth and has longer dry periods of sunshine.

Birak

(First Summer December to January)

The Season of the young and a hot, dry, burning time.

Bunura

(Second Summer February to March)

The season of adolescence and the hottest part of the year.

Djeran

(Autumn April to May)

The season of adulthood when the cooler weather begins.

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