All National Library reading rooms will be closed on the Anzac Day public holidays, Sunday 25 April and Monday 26 April. The exhibition galleries and Bookshop will be open from 9am to 5pm, and Bookplate cafe will be open from 9am to 3pm. Regular hours will resume on Tuesday 27 April. See our public holiday opening hours for more information.

Describing

Colonial settlers brought with them to Australia the concept of four distinct seasons. While this works for much of southern Australia, non-Indigenous people in the other parts of Australia identify seasonal change as wet and dry.

Indigenous communities have age-old seasonal calendars. For example, the Bininj/Mungguy people of Kakadu identify six seasons:

  1. gudjewg: monsoonal
  2. banggerreng: stormy
  3. yegge: cool
  4. wurrgeng: cold
  5. gurrung: hot and dry
  6. gunumeleng: hot and humid

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology hosts an Indigenous knowledge webpage where you can discover the seasonal calendars of other communities.

Activities

A Diverse Climate

Investigate seasonal calendars with your class. Do the four ‘European’ seasons describe your local weather well enough? What circumstances might require a different approach?

Connect with local Indigenous community Elders and invite them to share their knowledge about the weather where you live.