The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

The First Season

In the liturgical calendar, the four Sundays leading up to Christmas are known as Advent. This is the first season of the Church year when we prepare ourselves for the coming of the Christ child. Churches are decorated in majestic purple or dark blue, symbolic of the kingship of Jesus. For Christians, this is a time of hope, faith, peace and joy.

In the Noongar calendar, December and January are known as Birak. The season of the young, when the rain eases and the summer heat takes hold. Fledgling birds start to venture from their nests, reptiles shed their old skins and tadpoles complete their transformation into frogs. Traditionally, this was the fire season and the Whadjuk people burned the country around Perth and the South West, triggering seed germination and plant regeneration. For indigenous people, this was a time of preparation and renewal.

Traditional and new symbols of this first season of the spiritual year are to be found in the PC Anderson Chapel at Scotch College. Across the back wall, Kamsani Bin Salleh's artwork, entitled Boodja Kaartdijin, shows the six seasons of the Noongar year, beginning with Birak. At the front of the chapel, Christ is represented in the trinity of stained-glass windows from Swanbourne Uniting Church. These visual images reflect the diverse spiritual heritage of our college and they are a sign of our ongoing commitment to reconciliation.


In the lead up to this Christmas, let us prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ and reach out to our  neighbours  of every faith and culture with goodwill, peace and love.