TRaCK: Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge

Science and knowledge that governments, communities, industries for sustainable use of Australia's tropical rivers and estuaries

Online Larrakia seasonal calendar launched

Online Larrakia seasonal calendar

Online Larrakia seasonal calendar launched

Release date

21 Aug 2013

Gulumoerrgin (Larrakia) people know it’s time to start collecting Magpie Goose eggs when the local Speargrass starts flowering.  As the Speargrass turns brown the eggs hatch, marking the end of Mayilema - the goose egg season.

For the first time, this information and other detailed Aboriginal seasonal knowledge of the Darwin region has been converted into an interactive online educational resource.

Developed by CSIRO and Larrakia Traditional Owners as part of the Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge Program, the new online calendar was launched on Wednesday August 21, as part of National Science Week at Kormilda College in Darwin.

CSIRO’s Emma Woodward said many Aboriginal people are very concerned about the loss of their knowledge, while at the same time there is strong demand from schools for more traditional ecological information.

“We have met both these needs by working with Larrakia people to make their knowledge available through a new online interactive resource for students, teachers and the broader community,” she says.

“Students will be able to appreciate the depth of Aboriginal knowledge, while improving their understanding of the Top End environment.”

The online Gulumoerrgin (Larrakia) calendar shows seven seasons, in an annual cycle of climatic and ecological understanding : Balnba (rainy season); Dalay (monsoon season); Mayilema (speargrass, Magpie Goose egg and knock ‘em down season); Damibila (Barramundi and bush fruit time); Dinidjanggama (heavy dew time); Gurrulwa (big wind time), and Dalirrgang (build-up).

The online calendar was adapted from a Gulumoerrgin (Larrakia) poster developed last year by CSIRO with Lorraine Williams, Judith Williams, Maureen Ogden, Keith Risk and Anne Risk.

Ms Woodward said the Larrakia calendar could also be used to monitor future environmental change.  

“Aboriginal people have a deep understanding of complex  connections in the environment. Their observations have revealed relationships and links between plants, animals, water and climate that we weren’t aware of before,” she says.

View the online seasonal calendar, or the seasonal calendar showcase.