Welcome to Country

A Welcome to Country is a formal welcome onto Aboriginal land given by an Elder or person of that land. It should be the first item on the order of proceedings for the event/occasion. A Welcome to Country may comprise a single speech given by an Elder, with or without an accompanying performance.

University events that have invited members of the public and/or dignitaries should include a Welcome to Country. Special events can also include a Welcome to Country, determined by the managing staff.

If you are officiating at a ceremony or event, it is respectful to ask the Elder how he/she would prefer to the addressed. Some Elders do not like to be named Aunty or Uncle by non-Aboriginal people.

If you are speaking directly after a Welcome to Country, it is appropriate to make a brief Acknowledgment of Country, for example: "I would also like to pay my respects to the [language groups] people and their Elders past and present."

Who can perform a Welcome to Country

A Welcome to Country can only be performed by a traditional owner from the particular Country where the event is being held. This is usually a recognised Elder from the appropriate language group. The Elder welcomes people to their land.

Request a Welcome to Country