A Welcome to Country (alternatively know as an Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners) recognises the continuing connection of Aboriginal Traditional Owners to their Country. Yarra has a strong and proud Aboriginal history, being located on the Country of the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nation.
A Welcome to Country is a traditional ceremony which has been performed for tens of thousands of years. The ceremony welcomes you onto the land, asks you to show respect to the land, offers you the use of resources while on the land, and also offers to keep you safe while on the land. It is performed by Aboriginal Traditional Owners for people visiting their Country, and may include speeches, traditional dances and smoking ceremonies.
Anyone can provide an Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners to recognise the Traditional Owners of the land. It is a way to show awareness of, and respect for, the Traditional Owners of the Country on which the event is held.
Welcomes to Country and Traditional Owners Acknowledgements are an important part of the process of reconciliation and healing, in addition to affording the appropriate respect to Traditional Owners of Country.
When should a Welcome to Country or Traditional Owners Acknowledgement take place?
Aboriginal Victoria recommends that an Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners or a Welcome to Country be performed for most public events. The below tool is useful in determining the process event organisers should follow for their specific event:
You can find more information about Yarra’s Aboriginal history and Partnerships Plan by visiting the Aboriginal Yarra website.
Find out more about Wurundjeri heritage including cultural practices for events at the Wurundjeri Council.