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Welcome Ceremony Protocols

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Welcome to Country

A Welcome to Country is when an Aboriginal Elder or Custodian welcomes people to their land.

A Welcome to Country always occurs at the opening of an event and is usually the first item on the program. A local Aboriginal Elder or Custodian of the land conducts the ceremony. This may be done through a speech, song, ceremony or combination.

A Welcome to Country ceremony that acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land shows respect for Aboriginal peoples, as Australia's original inhabitants.

It is important to follow guidelines for recognising and promoting Aboriginal culture and custodianship of country as outlined in the University of Tasmania’s Strategic Plan of Aboriginal Engagement (SPAE).

Acknowledgement to Country —
Orientation Program

Where an Elder or Aboriginal custodian is not available, an Acknowledgement to Country should occur. This can be given by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who comes from another country or a non-Aboriginal person if an Aboriginal person is not present.

Below are suggested wordings for an Acknowledgement to Country.

Sandy Bay Campus

Today we are meeting on lutruwita (Tasmania) Aboriginal land, sea and waterways. I acknowledge, with deep respect the traditional owners of this land, the muwinina people, which we meet today.

The muwinina people belong to the oldest continuing culture in the world. They cared and protected Country for thousands of years. They knew this land, they lived on the land and they died on these lands. I honour them.

For the muwinina people, the area around nipaluna (Hobart) was their Country and they called Mount Wellington kunanyi.

I acknowledge that it is a privilege to stand on Country and walk in the footsteps of those before us. Beneath the mountain, among the gums and waterways that continue to run through the veins of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community.

I pay my respects to elders past and present and to the many Aboriginal people that did not make elder status and to the Tasmanian Aboriginal community that continue to care for Country.

I recognise a history of truth which acknowledges the impacts of invasion and colonisation upon Aboriginal people resulting in the genocide and forcible removal from their lands.

Our Island is deeply unique, with spectacular landscapes with our cities and towns surrounded by bushland, wilderness, mountain ranges and beaches.

I stand for a future that profoundly respects and acknowledges Aboriginal perspectives, culture, language and history. And a continued effort to fight for Aboriginal justice and rights paving the way for a strong future.

Newnham Campus

Today we are meeting on lutruwita (Tasmania) Aboriginal land, sea and waterways. I acknowledge, with deep respect the traditional owners of this land, the palawa people, which we meet today.

The palawa people belong to the oldest continuing culture in the world. They cared and protected Country for thousands of years. They knew this land, they lived on the land and they died on these lands. I honour them.

For many years the palawa people referred to this land as palanwina lurini kanamaluka meaning ‘the town near river Tamar’.

I acknowledge that it is a privilege to stand on Country and walk in the footsteps of those before us. Along the river banks, among the gums and seas that continue to run through the veins of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community.

I pay my respects to elders past and present and to the many Aboriginal people that did not make elder status and to the Tasmanian Aboriginal community that continue to care for Country.

I recognise a history of truth which acknowledges the impacts of invasion and colonisation upon Aboriginal people resulting in the genocide and forcible removal from their lands.

Our Island is deeply unique, with spectacular landscapes with our cities and towns surrounded by bushland, wilderness, mountain ranges and beaches.

I stand for a future that profoundly respects and acknowledges Aboriginal perspectives, culture, language and history. And a continued effort to fight for Aboriginal justice and rights paving the way for a strong future.

Cradle Coast Campus

Today we are meeting on lutruwita (Tasmania) Aboriginal land, sea and waterways. I acknowledge, with deep respect the traditional owners of this land, the palawa people, which we meet today.

The palawa people belong to the oldest continuing culture in the world. They cared and protected Country for thousands of years. They knew this land, they lived on the land and they died on these lands. I honour them.

Originally named pataway in palawa kani, ancestors from this salt-water Country produced the kelp water carrier - a gift between groups to replenish the mind and cleanse the system. We stand on those shores today as they once did.

I acknowledge that it is a privilege to stand on Country and walk in the footsteps of those before us. Beside the tides, among the gums and the waterways that continue to run through the veins of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community.

I pay my respects to elders past and present and to the many Aboriginal people that did not make elder status and to the Tasmanian Aboriginal community that continue to care for Country.

I recognise a history of truth which acknowledges the impacts of invasion and colonisation upon Aboriginal people resulting in the genocide and forcible removal from their lands.

Our Island is deeply unique, with spectacular landscapes with our cities and towns surrounded by bushland, wilderness, mountain ranges and beaches.

I stand for a future that profoundly respects and acknowledges Aboriginal perspectives, culture, language and history. And a continued effort to fight for Aboriginal justice and rights paving the way for a strong future.