Acknowledgement of Country
There are a range of protocols when working beside indigenous communities. While traditional practice of acknowledging the custodians and seeking permission to enter or use resources from the land and sea have always been in place in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies, this practice is only starting to emerge as a growing convention in today’s Australian society.
Acknowledging custodianship of the land at the commencement of meetings and forums pays respect to the traditional custodians, ancestors and continuing cultural, spirituals and religious practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and the ongoing relationship of traditional owners with the land. It provides an increasing awareness and recognition of Australia’s Indigenous peoples and cultures.
An Acknowledgement of Country should be made at the following:
- Formal meetings particularly those involving visitors to the region.
- Forums and workshops with other organisations that are sponsored by the region.
The chair of meetings or nominated speaker begins with an Acknowledgement of Country.
The following is a recommended simple acknowledgement, particularly if it is not clear who are the traditional owners:
I would like to show my respect and acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which this meeting takes place and pay respect to Elders past and present.
The following may be used in the Southern Metropolitan area (may exclude either Bunurong/Boon wurrung or Wurundjeri depending on location):
I would like to acknowledge the Bunurong/Boon wurrung and the Wurundjeri people who are the traditional custodians of the land on which this gathering takes place and pay respect of the Elders past and present and extend that respect to other Indigenous Australians present.
Bunurong: pronounced Bunu-rong