Aboriginal Astronomical knowledge of the Kulin Nation

Title: Aboriginal Astronomical knowledge of the Kulin Nation

Summary: Aboriginal Australians are the oldest astronomers on Earth, having developed complex knowledge systems about the Sun, Moon, and stars for millennia.

These knowledge systems relate to navigation, calendars, economics, and weather forecasting. The canvas of stars also serves as a memory space, a link to Country, and is a critically important link to identity and spirituality.

Colonisation by the British has severely and negatively impacted these systems of knowledge through the deliberate erasure of tradition, language, identity, life, connection to Country, and the visibility of the stars.

The project will involve two major components, with outputs and applications that will be guided and directed by Elders through their relevant organisations.

The first component is to identify all fragments of astronomical knowledge and associated tangible and intangible heritage located in the published literature, archives, and museums.

The second component involves interviewing Elders and knowledge custodians about traditional star knowledge, which will assist in filling the pieces of the puzzle.

The ultimate goal is to provide communities with a detailed, rigorous database of traditional astronomical knowledge that can be applied to educational curriculum programs, tourism, or whatever the communities desire.




A/Prof Duane Hamacher (CI)
Mx Jessie Ferrari (RA)
Mx Jason Rimmer (RA)
Ms Krystal De Napoli (RA)


The University of Melbourne
Monash University 
Taungurung Land and Waters Council
Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation
Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation
Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative