2 November 2016
A beautiful calendar showcasing Ngurrungurrudjba ecological knowledge has been recognised by the Keep Australia Beautiful Council Awards.
The calendar, which documents Kundjeyhmi knowledge of the seasons and the environment, won the 2016 Northern Territory Culture and Heritage Award. The calendar was developed as part of NERP’s Northern Australia Hub and with support from the Bininj Gunwok Language Project. CSIRO’s Barbara McKaige worked with Violet Lawson, a Traditional Owner from the Ngurrungurrudjba (Yellow Water) region in Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, to document and illustrate each season.
The wetlands of Kakadu, including Ngurrungurrudjba, are listed under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (the Ramsar Convention) for their outstanding ecological, botanical, zoological and hydrological features.
Ms Lawson’s calendar documents ecological knowledge about Ngurrungurrudjba that has been passed down to her from her mother, preserving it for future generations. The Ngurrungurrudjba calendar means that important cultural knowledge is now accessible to Kakadu locals and visitors.
The award was presented by Northern Territory Government Ministers Lauren Moss and Gerald McCarthy to Ms Lawson and Ms McKaige. You can access the Ngurrungurrudjba seasons calendar here.
Other seasonal calendars showcasing traditional ecological knowledge produced by TRaCK and NERP in partnerships with Indigenous language groups, Traditional Owners and other organisations include:
Gulumoerrgin-Larrakia-seasons calendar (Darwin region NT)
Ngan-gi seasons calendar (Daly River region NT)
MalakMalak and Matngala plant knowledge calendar (Daly River region NT)
Kunwinjku seasons calendar (West Arnhem Land)
Walmajarri seasons calendar (Fitzroy River region WA)
Gooniyandi seasons calendar (Margaret River, Fitzroy River region WA)
The calendars demonstrate the wealth of knowledge that Aboriginal people in northern Australia hold about the environment. Documenting the calendars has informed the scientific understanding of the relationships between people and the seasonal cycles of resource availability. More information on Indigenous seasonal calendars is available from CSIRO here.
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