Poorneet: Tadpole Season

The Wurundjeri seasonal calendar is made up of seven seasons. Poorneet (tadpole) season is during September to October. It is a gestational time celebrated by the Wurundjeri People. As Senior Wurundjeri Elder Aunty Joy Murphy Wandin describes it: 

“The grey clouds are shifting and we see glimpses of opening buds of light and sprinkles of magic dust everywhere.

Those fast moving little tailed poorneets (tadpoles) appear and there are lots of them. The male bulin bulin (lyrebird) has finished dancing, having found a female partner.

Pied currawongs call loudly and often, especially reminding us that the gurnmil (snake) and budjing (lizard) are awake and active.

Growling grass ngarrert (frogs) lay their eggs while the bubup mirrim (young kangaroos) are ready to leave Mum’s pouch.

The murnong (yam daisy) tubers are ready for eating, tasting a little like a radish.

A very colourful land mass of plants are still in flower, guling (flax lilies), garrong
(wattles), hop goodenia, burgan, gunyang (kangaroo apple), terrat (prickly currants) and burrunbeet.

The sacred kingfisher, a migrant bird returns home from the north and a big celebration is held in its honour.

The temperatures rise, rain continues and the days and nights are of equal length.”


Photo by Arika Waulu

This time of year is when the yellow daisies of the Murnong / Pun’yin start to bloom. 

Murnongs are a feature of Arika Waulu’s artwork for WILAM BIIK, curated by Stacie Piper. “My vision is to plant the seeds of a collective dream, to see yellow Pun’yin (Murnong) daisies as far as the eye can see, as they once were before the colonial violence trampled them. To see all native plants and animals protected for future generations.” –⁠ Arika Waulu


WILAM BIIK is an exhibition of cultural consciousness and knowledge, of an unsevered connection between First Peoples of South East Australia and their Country, over thousands of generations.

Header image: Binap (Manna Gum) and Muyan (Silver Wattle) in bloom along the Birrarung (Yarra River). Photo by Anthony Fitzpatrick.

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