why is this important?

First Peoples in Australia are the oldest continuing cultures on Earth. A central part of these cultures are Welcomes to Country and Acknowledgements of Traditional Owners. A Welcome or Acknowledgement is a way to recognise the complex ownership and land stewardship that existed before colonisation and continues to this day. It is important that all Victorians know more about how to acknowledge and respect the land that they live on. 

A Welcome to Country can only be delivered by a Traditional Owner on their Traditional Country. Anyone can deliver an Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners. 

Recommended Strategies

  • Work with local Traditional Owners to develop protocols for Acknowledgements of Traditional Owners and Welcomes to Country.
  • Organise a Welcome to Country from the local Traditional Owners for every formal council event. 
  • Begin each council meeting, both internally and externally, with an Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners. 
  • Include an Acknowledgment of Traditional Owners on your website and in all email signatures. 

Case Studies

In consultation with the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation, the City of Yarra has developed three versions of an Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners to be read in different circumstances. For example, there is a shorter version of an Acknowledgement to be read at the beginning of all council meetings, or a longer version to be read at events that are significant to the local First Peoples’ community such as their Sorry Day event and January 26th event. You can read the Acknowledgements in the City of Yarra’s Yana Ngargna Plan 2020-2023. 

Key Contacts

Contact your local Registered Aboriginal Party for more information about their processes for booking a Welcome to Country and their preferred wording for an Acknowledgment of Traditional Owners. 

was this page helpful?