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Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country Ceremonies

In the spirit of Reconciliation as a key underpinning value, the University of Canberra (UC) supports and encourages staff and students in promoting Reconciliation. The University acknowledges and implements cultural protocols as ethical principles that guide our conduct, including performing a Welcome to Country or Acknowledgement of Country at the commencement of events prior to all other matters.

Welcome to Country

A Welcome to Country is an official ceremony performed by an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person and who is a custodian of the Country on which the event is being held. A Welcome to Country is performed at the commencement of the event prior to all other matters.

For example, if the event is being held in Canberra then the organisers should contact a Ngunnawal Elder to provide a Welcome to Country. A remuneration for the member of the Traditional Owners group who undertakes this important service for the University is required.

Acknowledgement of Country

An Acknowledgement of Country is a means by which all people can show respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and heritages and the ongoing connection and relationship with the land and sea.

An Acknowledgement of Country is used at formal functions, committee meetings, lectures, seminars, forums, workshops etc. where there is a gathering of participants. This includes video and/or telephone conference activities. On such occasions, the first speaker or MC may begin by acknowledging that the event is taking place on the lands of the Traditional Owners. For example, a public lecture held in the Bruce campus would acknowledge that the lecture is being held on the lands of the Ngunnawal people.  

The following is considered appropriate wording for an Acknowledgement of Country at a University of Canberra event or meeting held in Canberra.

The University of Canberra acknowledges the Ngunnawal people, traditional custodians of the lands where Bruce Campus is situated.

We wish to acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and contribution they make to the life of Canberra and the region.

We also acknowledge all other First Nations Peoples on whose land we gather. 
OATSILS is currently updating the following UC Guidelines for Welcome to Country & Acknowledgement of Country

For more information

Contact the UC Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership and Strategy (OATSILS)
Email: oatsils@canberra.edu.au