What is a Welcome to Country?
A Welcome to Country ceremony is performed by Aboriginal Traditional Owners for people visiting their country. These ceremonies vary from speeches of welcome to traditional dance and smoking ceremonies.
When is a Welcome to Country appropriate?
It's suggested that a welcoming ceremony be arranged for major public forums and functions. Naturally if the function has broad impact on, or significance for, Aboriginal people, a welcoming ceremony will be appropriate.
Can any Aboriginal person perform a Welcome to Country?
No, a Welcome to Country should only be performed by a representative of the Traditional Owner group. Asking an Aboriginal person to perform a Welcome to Country when they do not belong to the Traditional Owner group may cause them embarrassment and may offend the Traditional Owners.
How do I organise a Welcome to Country?
If your event or function is in a part of Victoria with a Registered Aboriginal Party (RAP), you should contact the RAP to arrange the Welcome to Country. Contact details can be found in the Table of Registered Aboriginal Parties.
What is an Acknowledgement of Country?
An Acknowledgement of Country recognises the traditional ownership of the lands upon which an event is held. An Acknowledgement of Country may be expressed by a person who is not an Indigenous Australian.
Wherever possible, your ceremony, forum or public event should include a Welcome to Country. Where this is not possible, your event should include an Indigenous Acknowledgement. The location of the event will determine the acknowledgement used, as it will address the particular traditional owners of those lands.
Below are the acknowledgements to be used for each of Deakin’s campus locations. If you are holding a function via videoconferencing, please use the acknowledgement for the area on which the function is chaired.
I wish to begin by acknowledging the Gunditjmara (‘goon-ditch-mara’) people, the traditional owners of the land on which we are gathered today. We pay our respects to the local people for allowing us to have our gathering on their land and to their Elders: past, present and future.
I wish to begin by acknowledging we are gathered here today on the traditional lands of the Wadawurrung people. And pay our respects to Elders past and present.
I wish to begin by acknowledging the Wurundjeri (‘were-un-juri’) people of the Kulin nations, the traditional owners of the land on which we are gathered today. We pay our respects to the local people for allowing us to have our gathering on their land and to their Elders: past, present and future.
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