Acknowledgement of country
What is it and when should it be used?
Clarence Valley Council promotions greater understanding of Aboriginal Culture through the use of Aboriginal protocols for formal and informal meetings, public meetings and ceremonies. Council encourages other organisations and entities throughout the area to recognise Aboriginal Custodianship of Country and Acknowledge the significance of Aboriginal Culture.
Arranging a "Welcome to Country" Ceremony and "Acknowledging the Traditional Custodians" of the Land shows respect for Aboriginal people as Australia's First Peoples. Ceremonies and protocols are a fundamental part of Aboriginal culture. These processes increase the understanding and mutual respect for Cultural practices by both Aboriginal Australians and the wider community.
What is a Welcome to Country?
A "Welcome to Country" is where the Traditional Aboriginal Custodians (in most cases the Elders) welcome people to their Land. This is a significant recognition and is made through a formal process. A "Welcome to Country" should always occur in the opening ceremony of the event in question, preferably as the first item.
Acknowledgement of Country:
"Acknowledgement of Country" is a way that the wider community can demonstrate respect for Aboriginal protocol and can be performed by any party that is participating in an occasion of any kind. It can be performed by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples. It is a demonstration of respect dedicated to the Traditional Custodians of the Land and or Sea where the gathering of participants is being conducted.
An Acknowldgement of Country for the Clarence Valley can be found here.