I noted back here that the Bureau of Meteorology had included on their website a page called Indigenous Weather Knowledge, that describes the annual weather patterns known to Aboriginal people in a given area. Since then, the BOM have included another group, the Brambuk from the Gariwerd / Grampians National Park in Victoria.
This morning I was browsing the ABC news website and cam across this report (transcript and mp3 both available) on The World Today, of yesterday (ironically). It says that the Bureau “is now posting Indigenous weather information for the Northern Territory and Victoria.” The weather information takes the form of correlations of natural processes, such as the onset of the blooming period of certain plants signifying that the time is right to start fishing from the river, or that Black Cockatoos flying around herald coming rain.
The Brambuk information page differs from the others (Wardaman, Jawoyn, Walabunnba and Yanyuwa) in that, unfortunately, it doesn’t contain any such information couched in the traditional languages, which, I understand, are Djapwurrong and Jardwadjali.
On a considerably less positive note, the World Health Organisation reports that Australian Aboriginal healthcare lags behind the rest of the country. This came from PM yesterday, transcript and mp3 available here.
Indigenous babies born today can expect to live only as long as people in Australia 100 years ago. The Aboriginal people are dying at the same kinds of rates that people did 100 years ago in Australia.
Diseases long-forgotten in the developed world, such as leprosy, tuberculosis and rheumatic heart disease, still afflict Aboriginal people in Australia at alarming rates. 106 years of federation, 40 years of Indigenous rights, and we still have an awfully long way to go.
Are we making any progress?