Now December has started we are in the Noongar season of Birak. Known as first summer, Birak is also called season of the young.

Birak is when the rains ease up, the warm weather really starts to take hold and the afternoons are cooled by sea breezes from the southwest.

Burning time

An almost clockwork style of easterly winds in the morning and sea breezes in the afternoon, meant that traditionally this was the burning time of year for Noongars.

They would burn the country in mosaic patterns to reduce fuel, increase grazing pastures for some animals, aid in seed germination for some plants, and to make it easier to travel across the country.

The fires also forced Yonga (kangaroo), karda (goanna) and small marsupials into the open where they could be hunted.

Birak is often represented by the colour red to symbolise heat, sun and fire.

Season of the young

You will see many fledglings venturing out of nests in Birak – though many stay close to their parents such as magpies and parrots.

With rising temperatures and less rainfall, it’s also a time for baby frogs to complete their transformation into adulthood.

Look out for reptiles that will be shedding their old skin for a new one.

Traditionally Banskia flowers were gathered for the honey. A sweet party mead called Mangite was made by steeping Poolgaria flowers (Bull Banksia, Banksia grandis) in water until they fermented.
The sweet, salty fruit of the Bain (pigface, Carpobrotus viriscens) were also collected.

Rise celebrates culture

Rise has employed a Diversity Employment Coordinator Minyulo Bartlett, who is working to increase Aboriginal numbers in our workforce, and make our service attractive to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

We are proud to celebrate all cultures and be inclusive for all. You can read more about our plans here.