Cultural protocols

Welcome to Country

Central to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ value system is respect.

An informed and developed understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the promotion of reconciliation can be demonstrated through embracing correct protocols and conventions.

Respect was critical throughout history among Indigenous Australians, and the best demonstration of it was to acknowledge the people and country/place being visited, when entering another nation. This practice has continued today and is respectfully taken up by non-Indigenous people and organisations. Only those who belong to the country/place being visited, however, can provide a ‘welcome to country’ and the local community will nominate an appropriate person to provide this welcome.

Acknowledgement of Country

There are no hard and fast protocols or wording for an Acknowledgement of Country, though often a statement may take the following form:

I would like to acknowledge that this meeting is being held on the traditional lands of the (appropriate group) people, and pay my respect to elders both past and present.

Local communities will advise local protocols and conventions, as well as identifying who are the Elders and respected people to consult.

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