Blog icon

About the Indigenous seasonal calendars

Sharing and learning about Indigenous knowledge and management of Country

How can we tell what season it is? The Western four-season calendar, which divides the year into roughly four equal sequential phases (Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring) is not a particular informative way of engaging with the weather and climate in Australia.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Australia’s First Scientists, have always held a deep understanding of the seasons, and of how to tell when seasons are changing.

Seasonal understanding of Country underpins many activities on Country. Recording this knowledge provides a powerful tool for Indigenous knowledge holders to demonstrate and communicate their connection to, use and management of Country.

Over the past fifteen years CSIRO has co-designed, refined and tested the application of a season calendar methodology with our Indigenous partners as a way of documenting and presenting seasonal understanding of Country.

The co-produced seasonal calendars have proven to be powerful tools in representing Indigenous understanding of, and connection to Country.


Respecting Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property

It's important to know that the Indigenous seasonal calendars are the Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) of the people and communities or Indigenous knowledge holders who shared them.

The calendars have been published with the permission of their ICIP owners and with certain conditions on their use. This is in order to assert the ownership, authority and control of their owners over their ICIP. These rights to ICIP are embedded in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) – Article 31.

ICIP is essentially the knowledge and cultural heritage of Indigenous people and can also include artwork, music, stories, language, and cultural objects and practices. Under Australian intellectual property laws, ICIP isn't always fully recognised as ‘intellectual property’, because it is a western system of ownership and property. It is therefore important that steps are taken to protect ICIP and ensure that it is not misused or misappropriated or its cultural integrity harmed. This is why we have included some terms and conditions for the downloading and use of the calendar.

Contact us

Find out how we can help you and your business. Get in touch using the form below and our experts will get in contact soon!

CSIRO will handle your personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and our Privacy Policy.

First name must be filled in

Surname must be filled in

I am representing *

Please choose an option

Please provide a subject for the enquriy

0 / 100

We'll need to know what you want to contact us about so we can give you an answer

0 / 1900

You shouldn't be able to see this field. Please try again and leave the field blank.