‘Welcome to Country’ and ‘Acknowledgement of Country’ are important practices because they continue the longstanding tradition of formally recognising Aboriginal (and Torres Strait Islander) Traditional Ownership and Connection to Country.
A Welcome to Country is a formal welcome to Aboriginal land given by an Elder or person from the Country the meeting/event is taking place on.
An Acknowledgment of Country can be given by an Indigenous or non-Indigenous person and is a way of paying respect to the Traditional Owners of the Country the meeting/event is taking place on.
A suggested Acknowledgment of Country wording:
“Before we begin proceedings, I would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet today (Include the name of the People and their Nation here). I would like to pay my respects to the Elders past, present and future and pay my respects to all Aboriginal People here today, wherever you may come from.”
Who are the Traditional Owners in my area?
There are more than 20 Aboriginal Nations in NSW and the ACT, and many more clan groups. To make sure you are acknowledging the correct Traditional Owners for country, you can contact NTSCORP for advice. Alternatively, an interactive map of the Aboriginal groups in the Sydney area can be found at the City of Sydney’s Barani website:
Organising a Welcome to Country
To organise a Welcome to Country please contact NTSCORP to be put in contact with Traditional Owners for the region. Alternatively you can contact your Local Aboriginal Land Council. A list of the contacts can be found on the NSW Aboriginal Land Council’s website.
Please note that a request for a Welcome to Country usually requires a call-out fee.