A guide to Acknowledgments and Welcome to Country

An ‘Acknowledgment of Country’ is a way that all people can show awareness and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage and the ongoing relationship the traditional owners have with their land. Both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people can perform ‘Acknowledgement of Country’. It is a demonstration of respect dedicated to the traditional custodians of the land (or sea) where the event, meeting, school function or conference takes place. It can be formal or informal.


A ‘Welcome to Country’ is a small ceremony where traditional custodians, usually Elders, welcome people to their land. This is a significant recognition and is made through a formal process, although it’s up to the Elder how they decide to carry out the ceremony. It also depends on the location of the event and the practice of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community which can vary greatly according to region.


NATSICC, in partnership with the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference have produced a guide for Schools, Parishes and communities to use to gain a better understanding of the ceremonies and their importance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


NATSICC / ACBC guide to Welcome to Country and Acknowledgment of Traditional owners

NATSICC Acknowledgment Plaques

In what is an historic decision, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference have endorsed an Acknowledgment plaque for use in Schools, Parishes and organisations across Australia. The plaque is produced on a steel substrate and can be displayed both inside the Church or outside in a prominent location.


“For us, Country is a word for all the values, places, resources, stories and cultural obligations associated with that area and its features. It describes the entirety of our ancestral domains.” Professor Mick Dodson


Visit the dedicated page here and order via the NATSICC Online Store.




National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council

'The peak Indigenous advisory body to the Catholic Church'

80C Payneham Rd.

Stepney SA 5069

www.natsicc.org.au   |   craig@natsicc.org.au   | 08 8363 2963


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