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A deeper understanding of the land and Noongar culture with Menang custodians 

Six Noongar Seasons Field Trip Series Makuru Field Trip to Styx River. (Denmark Environment Centre)

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At the base of Mount Lindesay (Peepetup) in Denmark, a group of people will be taken on a journey with two Menang custodians to learn about the six Noongar seasons and broaden their cultural knowledge.

Run by the Denmark Environment Centre, the Six Seasons Field Trip Series project is an opportunity for people to develop a deeper understanding beyond just that of admiring the natural beauty of Denmark.

The series gives an insight into the cultural significance of different locations around the area to First Nations people, with an aim to heighten people’s respect and understanding of the place.

Visits on country and discussions with Noongar Elders

Denmark Environment Centre Project Coordinator Holly Pepper says the centre hopes that those who attend the event go away with a deeper respect for the environment and Aboriginal culture.

“Through these visits on country and discussions with Noongar Elders, the Denmark Community Environment Centre hopes to build the community’s cultural understanding of the significance of some of the landscapes, flora and fauna that surrounds us.

“Noongar people have a deep connection to country and a wealth of knowledge on the seasonal availability of local foods.”

“Noongar people have a deep connection to country and a wealth of knowledge on the seasonal availability of local foods.”

Carol Petterson, Menang Elder.  (Denmark Environment Centre)

The event is hosted by Menang Elder Lynette Knapp, Menang custodian Harrison Rodd-Knapp and Mark Parre, who has worked for the Denmark Shire for around 30 years revegetating many sites around town with his knowledge on native plant species from the area.

Using the seasons to educate during abundance

Each of the Series events is centred around a Noongar season, with the previous field trip held at the Styx River Waterfall in Denmark.

The upcoming event is focussed on Djilba, a transition season known for it’s crisp and cold days with a little bit of sunshine.

“The warmer weather will result in an abundance of flowering flora making it fitting for the speakers to discuss native plant uses,” said Ms Pepper.

“The unique flora at Mount Lindesay site will provide a great opportunity for the community to learn how First Nations people use native plant species as sources of food, medicine and to create functional items.”

“The unique flora at the Mount Lindesay site will provide a great opportunity for the community to learn how First Nations people use native plant species as sources of food, medicine and to create functional items.”

Gnamma holes used to store and filter water. (Teresa Ashton Graeme)

Sharing knowledge helps build better understanding of the traditional uses of the land

Ms Pepper said it would be great if local governments and state government departments put more time and resources into sharing Noongar knowledge such as the seasons.

“I think it’s important to build greater understanding of First Nation peoples connection to country.

“Sharing knowledge about the seasons is a way for people to build an understanding of the traditional uses of the land.

“Hopefully this will aide in building greater respect and protection of the many significant places in local government areas.”

The Six Seasons Series is free to the public thanks to an $84,000 Lotterywest grant, obtained specifically to re-engage with the community following on from the COVID pandemic.

Read more like this: 

Researches partner with Noongar Elders

Banners representing the six Noongar seasons on display ahead of Reconciliation Week

New Kojonup bridge highlights the six Noongar seasons

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