Cultural Protocols

Cultural protocols

Below is a general guide to Indigenous protocols. Check with your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educators and community members for specific advice for your location and your institution.

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

Central to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ value system is respect. Respect was critical in entering another nation and the best demonstration of it was to acknowledge the people and country/place being visited.

This practice has continued today and is respectfully taken up by non Indigenous people and organisations. However, only those who belong to the country/place being visited can provide a ‘welcome to country’ and in such circumstances the local community will nominate an appropriate person to provide a welcome.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge transfer is different insofar rather than transaction it is more relational. This can be differentiated between asking a question and getting an answer by transaction to creating and identifying the relationship first then offering perspective and opinion.

For the contemporary educator faced with the challenges of the Australian curriculum as well as Focus areas 1.4 and 2.4 creating a link to the local community will enhance the learning experience for all. In making the link relationship and respect will be the authentic drivers. Local communities will identify local protocols and conventions as well as who are the Elders and Respected Persons and who is the correct person to consult and engage.