Acknowledgement of Country

Victoria University (VU) acknowledges the Ancestors, Elders and families of the Boonwurrung, Woiwurrung (Wurundjeri) and Wathaurung (Wadawurrung) on our Melbourne Campuses, and the Gadigal and Guring-gai people of the Eora Nation on our Sydney campus. These groups are the custodians of University land and have been for many centuries.

We acknowledge that the land on which our campuses stand is the place of age-old ceremonies of celebration, initiation and renewal. The Kulin and Eora people’s living culture had, and has, a unique role in the life of these regions. VU supports the aim of Reconciliation Australia to build better relationships between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for the benefit of all Australians.

It is important that staff, students and visitors understand and respect the significance of recognising the traditional owners of University land.

Acknowledgment of Country overview

An Acknowledgement of Country is a statement of public recognition of the traditional owners of the land. It is a way that all people can demonstrate respect for Aboriginal people and protocols. Any person can give an acknowledgement.

The host of a ceremony or event should make an acknowledgement, unless someone else is performing this task. You can also ask Moondani Balluk to deliver the Acknowledgement of Country.

Events where an Acknowledgement of Country should be considered include:

  • graduation ceremonies
  • significant public lectures
  • official openings
  • large student or staff events
  • Orientation
  • Open Day
  • student awards
  • the launch of new initiatives or plans
  • the first meeting of the year for high level university committees (e.g. Council, Academic Board and Senior Leadership Committees).

An informal Acknowledgement of Country can also be given at meetings or any other event. This is determined by the staff chairing or managing the meeting or event.

Request an Acknowledgement of Country

Giving an Acknowledgement of Country

Aboriginal Country is not always clearly agreed upon by Traditional Owners. Therefore, acknowledging one people over another may unintentionally exclude some people.

The University’s protocol is to acknowledge the following language groups, based on location.

Boonwurrung and Woiwurrung

  • City campuses
  • Footscray campuses
  • St Albans and Sunshine campuses
  • Altona Meadows Learning Link

Boonwurrung, Waddawurrung and Woiwurrung

  • Werribee campus

Woiwurrung

  • Sunbury City Council area

Gadigal and Guring-gai

  • Sydney campus

Formal Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne

"We/I acknowledge the Ancestors, Elders and families of the [language groups] of the Kulin who are the traditional owners of University land. As we share our own knowledge practices within the University may we pay respect to the deep knowledge embedded within the Aboriginal community and their ownership of Country.

We/I acknowledge that the land on which we meet is a place of age old ceremonies of celebration, initiation and renewal and that the Kulin people’s living culture has a unique role in the life of this region."

Sydney

“We/I Sydney acknowledges the Gadigal and Guring-gai people of the Eora Nation upon whose ancestral lands our place of learning now stands. We would also like to pay respect to the Elders both past and present, acknowledging them as the Traditional Custodians of knowledge for the land on which our campus is situated.”

Informal Acknowledgement of Country

To give an informal Acknowledgement of Country, any of the follow phrases are appropriate.

  • I acknowledge the Ancestors, Elders and families of the [language groups] of the Kulin (Melbourne campuses)/Eora (Sydney campus) as the traditional owners of land.
  • I would like to acknowledge the [language groups] who are the traditional owners of the land on which we meet.
  • I would like to pay my respect to Elders past and present and extend my respect to Aboriginal people/staff/students/community who are present today.
  • The footprints of the Kulin are found across the landscape of the western region.
  • I recognise and acknowledge the [language groups] as the traditional owners of this land and pay my respect to their Ancestors and Elders.