Acknowledgement and Welcome to Country

Acknowledgement to Country

Lake Macquarie City Council acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land, the Awabakal People. We pay respect to knowledge holders and community members of the land and acknowledge and pay respect to Elders past, present and future.

The Acknowledgement to Country recognises Awabakal people as the Traditional Caretakers and Custodians of Lake Macquarie.

Anyone can deliver an Acknowledgement to Country. As it is a personal as well as an organisational statement, it is acceptable to use your own words.

If using your own words, it is essential that you mention the Traditional Custodians of the land where you deliver your Acknowledgement to Country. For example, when in Lake Macquarie, you should mention the Awabakal People, however it may also be appropriate to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of neighbouring Countries.

It is also essential that you pay respect to Aboriginal people of today as well Elders past, present and future.

When elsewhere, you should mention the respective Traditional Custodians of that land.

Example of an Acknowledgement to Country

I would like to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are meeting today, the ___________ People (only if known), and acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who now reside in this area. I extend that respect to Elders – past and present – and future cultural knowledge holders.

Welcome to Country

A Welcome to Country is when an Aboriginal Elder or Traditional Custodian of a certain area welcome people to their land before the start of a meeting, event or ceremony. It is a significant sign of respect toward Australia's First People.

The Welcome to Country can include a verbal recital together with cultural performances and ceremony.

An appropriate person - such as a recognised Elder from the local area - conducts this welcome. Aboriginal organisations such as Local Aboriginal Land Councils may be contacted to recommend a suitable Elder from the area to conduct a Welcome to Country.

Fee for service

As in Western culture, specialised knowledge is not something that is generally given away.

Aboriginal people have conserved and passed down Aboriginal cultural knowledge to generations for thousands of years.

Aboriginal people who choose to recite a Welcome to Country, perform a traditional song and/or dance, play the didgeridoo, give a speech, supply artwork - among other things - are entitled to be paid for their time and knowledge.

Page last updated: 28 October 2015