Kombumerri Traditional Custodian Contributor: Uncle Graham Dillon OAM

This resource is related to the following Learning Areas –

And responds to the following Enquiry Questions –

Q13.How did the Kombumerri people’s concept of time differ to today?
Q56.How Indigenous people measure time?

Resource transcript –

As hunter-gatherers and other than hunter-gatherers… they were industrialists especially down in Koori [guri] country, Victoria. They had no concept of time. They were seasonal people generally because there were no nine-to-five people like we are today or seven ‘til five or seven ‘til three. They had no illusions about time. They were no subservient to the rigours of time whereas… Oh, I’ve got to get going. I’ve got to catch the train. I’ve got to catch the bus. I’ll be late. That sort of thing didn’t occur. They had no watches, no media, nothing at all. And, so, they had the luxury of not being subservient to or were slaves to time. But they were acutely aware of the importance of seasonal commitments as it were… seasonal commitments, yeah. And, so, I think, personally speaking, that they didn’t have to do things like we do today. If we are allocated a task and we find it almost Mission Impossible, I mean, you can’t do it. You just can’t do it. And that’s part of the psyche of today’s workforce where people want things done yesterday. That did not come across the task ethic of the Aboriginal people. Time did not interfere with their way of life. Seasons, movements, food, usage, travel, yes but not to the rigorous extent that we are subject to now. So, they had the luxury of not being committed… not committed to the vagaries and limitations of time in their lives, the Aboriginal people.