Food for Thought Leaders Luncheon
The Noongar Six Season Cycle


Tuesday, 16 May 2017
12:00 - Registration Opens
12:15 - Event Start
14:00 - Event Concludes


Lamonts Bishops House
90 Mounts Bay Road, Perth


This event is free for member organisations of the Committee for Perth. 

OPEN TO MEMBERS Registration has now closed

We invite you to join us on the 16th May for our next Food for Thought Leaders Luncheon, with guest speaker Dr Richard Walley OAM.

The Committee is committed to reconciliation, and has a long association of working with Richard as our Indigenous Cultural Advisor. 

The Noongar six seasons are not dependent on calendar dates, but rather the changing conditions. The seasons are extremely important to Noongar people, as it is a guide to what nature is doing at every stage of the year. It brings an understanding of respect for the land, in relation to plant and animal fertility cycles, and land and animal preservation. The six seasons also have relevance to the Modern world of planning and business.

At this lunch Richard will discuss the Noongar six season cycle, and how he has adopted it to best represent Noongar culture in major projects such as Yagan Square.

Event Overview

During May, the Committee held a Food for Thought Leaders’ Luncheon with our Indigenous Consultant Dr Richard Walley OAM, to discuss the importance of the Noongar Six Season Cycle and its relevance for business leaders. These small roundtable lunches provide members an opportunity to engage with local, national or international thought leaders to discuss key issues facing Perth or learn from overseas expertise.

The Committee has worked closely with Richard since 2008, and he advises us on all matters related to our reconciliation advocacy agenda, including the production of a Welcome to Country Guide in 2009 and our Reconciliation Action Plans since 2010.

Over lunch, Richard discussed how he is working with business to apply the concept of the Noongar six season cycle to the modern world of planning and business. The six seasons is a Noongar system, like many others created by 2,000 generations of Aboriginal people, which applies sustainable practices to guide Aboriginal activities, such as the circuit of walkabout. It brings an understanding of respect for the land, in relation to plant and animal fertility cycles, and land and animal preservation.

Adopting the six season cycle to represent Noongar culture in major projects, such as Yagan Square, has been a key engagement strategy and begins with the season Makuru, that represents fertility. The fertility stage is about recognising what each side can bring to the table through having a conversation first and building relationships. This means being part of a collective to create a strong community.

Following the fertility season there is one of incubation called Djilba, which represents the period of negotiation period between parties and then the birth season, Kambarang signifies the signing of contracts. Importantly, the six seasons engagement strategy is only interested in the collective voice and emphasises the importance of being accepting of the outcome if the process is predetermined and agreed upon.

Implementing a six seasons engagement strategy in the Yagan Square project has allowed for the creation of a unique sense of place and has drawn together a collective of all interested Noongar families as a united voice. Once complete, Australians and visitors will be able to walk the path of the Elders, understand the history of the area and visualise what once existed through structural representations. This sense of place is important in recognising the collective representation of what is means to be an Australian, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike. 

Meet our speakers and panellists

Dr. Richard Walley OAM  Image

Dr. Richard Walley OAM

Indigenous Consultant - Aboriginal Productions and Events

Dr Richard Walley OAM, is a Noongar man, one of Australia's leading Aboriginal performers, musicians and writers, who has been a tireless worker for the Indigenous cause. The promotion of culture through the arts being one of his passions, from 2000 Richard has served as Chair of the Australia Council's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board. He is currently Director of Aboriginal Productions and Promotions. He works with the Committee for Perth to undertake research and consultation with the local Indigenous communities.