Boodja lectures

In previous years the WA Branch of Soil Science Australia had some part to play in the delivery of the annual Gentilli Lecture (initiated and coordinated by society member Dr Karl-Heinz Wyrwoll). While the Gentilli Lecture has continued, it is now promoted by the University of Western Australia’s Institute of Advanced Studies and it does not have a focus on Soil Science.

In 2011 WA Branch members voted to re-initiate a Western Australian annual lecture in soil science – a lecture that could be delivered in an informal setting that would promote outstanding and prominent aspects of soil science in Western Australia.

After much consideration from the many options presented, the Annual Soil Science Lecture was given the name “Boodja” – a common Western Australian Aboriginal (Noongar) word for ‘land’ and a suitable match as this lecture series acknowledges the important role of Aboriginal understanding in the responsible management of the soil and land.

The Noongar people are the traditional owners of the South-West land division of Western Australia, which is defined by 14 different areas with varied geography and 14 dialectal groups. For thousands of years Noongar people have resided on and had a cultural connection to this land. Everything in our vast landscape has meaning and purpose, and the connection to Boodja (the land) is passed on through stories and expressive forms of art – which is what we hope to follow through this annual WA lecture series.

In 2012, the WA Branch was honoured to have the Australian Advocate for Soil Health and former Governor-General, Major General the Hon. Michael Jeffery, AC, AO (Mil), CVO, MC (Retd), present the inaugural lecture. This Lecture now takes its place amongst the other prominent annual lectures delivered in each state branch of Soil Science Australia.

Boodja lecturers:

2017Professor Stephen Smith
2015Professor Rob Fitzpatrick
2014Emeritus Professor Alan Robson AO
2013The National Advocate for Soil, Major General the Hon Michael Jeffery AC, AO (Mil) CVO, MC (Retd)