Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country are important practices in Australia that formally pay respect to the original custodians of the land.
Welcome to Country
A Welcome to Country ceremony – which may be a short spoken statement or something more involved with traditional singing, dancing or smoke ceremonies – is performed by an Aboriginal Elder, Traditional Owner or custodian to welcome visitors to their traditional country. It is an ancient practice dating back many thousands of years.
Acknowledgement of Country
Acknowledgement of Country is where the host of an event, such as a meeting, conference or gathering, acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which the event is being held. While the Acknowledgement of Country, which can be delivered by a non-Aboriginal person, can be formal or informal, the South Australian Government has developed a formal Acknowledgement in consultation with Aboriginal people and representative bodies.
Statement of Acknowledgement (Kaurna – Adelaide)
Originally, the Statement of Acknowledgement used by the State Government was produced in English only. However, courtesy of Kaurna Warra Karrpanthi (KWK), the leading group dedicated to Kaurna language revitalisation and maintenance, the department has obtained and been provided cultural consent to use a Kaurna language version of the Statement of Acknowledgment.
An audio version of the statement has been developed to assist with pronunciation. The use of the statement, written and verbal, is encouraged across the South Australian Government.
The Statement of Acknowledgement below is to be read aloud at the commencement of gatherings held within the Adelaide region. It may also be used in its written form in State Government publications.
We acknowledge this land that we meet on today is the traditional lands for the Kaurna people and that we respect their spiritual relationship with their country.
We also acknowledge the Kaurna people as the custodians of the Adelaide region and that their cultural and heritage beliefs are still as important to the living Kaurna people today.
We also pay respects to the cultural authority of Aboriginal people visiting/attending from other areas of South Australia/Australia.
Ngadlu tampinthi yalaka ngadlu Kaurna yartangka inparrinthi. Ngadludlu tampinthi, parnaku tuwila yartangka.
Kaurna Miyurna yaitya yarta-mathanya Wama Tarntanyaku, parnaku yailtya, parnaku tapa puru purruna. Kaurna Miyurna ithu yailtya purruna, yarta kuma puru martinthi, puru warri-apinthi, puru tangka martulayinthi.
Kuma kumartarna Yaitya Miyurna ngadludlu tampinthi iyangka yalaka. Parnaku yarta kumartarna yarta Kanthi Partu-arra kuma Warrunangku.
The department appreciates the assistance provided by KWK in ensuring appropriate acknowledgement of country across the public sector.
Statement of Acknowledgement (Outside of Adelaide)
For meetings held outside the Kaurna area, it is recommended to use the Native Title Vision and identify the name of the traditional owner group with cultural responsibilities for the area you will visit.
Traditional Owners from across South Australia have provided the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation with their preferred wording for a Statement of Acknowledgement on their country. This wording is available in the related link below.
In areas where Native Title claims overlap or no Native Title claim has been lodged, it is recommended that the following General Statement of Acknowledgement is used:
I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet today and pay my respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are present today.