The final coin in our Australian Seasons series portrays Spring – traditionally the time when nature bursts back into life.
Did you know? The familiar four-season calendar was brought to Australia by settlers in 1788. Even though we continue with it today, the system is not particularly suited to our massive continent.
Indigenous people identified seasons based on local conditions. For example, the Noongars of Australia’s south-west, which includes Perth, acknowledge six seasons. Other groups have only two, while some have eight!
An intimate knowledge of the local environment was paramount to Aborigines for survival. Thus seasons were also associated with such things as the availability of seeds and fruits or the migration of birds and other animals.
This time of year in the Noongar calendar is Djiiba, a period when roots were collected and emus, possums and kangaroos were hunted. [www.noongar.org.au/]
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, different seasonal cycles described by Aboriginal peoples from all over Australia “produces a far more intricate and subtle overview of Australia’s climate than the four-season European climate description of Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring, applied as it is across most areas of the continent.”