Acknowledgement of Country
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have experienced a long history of exclusion in Australia, and many aspects of First Australians’ cultures have sadly been lost.
Recognition of Australia’s First Peoples in events, meetings and national symbols is one way for us to help uphold Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, and work towards reconciliation.
An Acknowledgement of Country is an opportunity for anyone to show respect for Traditional Owners and the continuing
connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to Country.
It’s important to give an Acknowledgement of Country at the start of all Scouting activities and meetings.
Anyone can make an Acknowledgment and people are encouraged to make it their own. The key parts needed in every Acknowledgement of Country are:
Acknowledge the specific Traditional Custodians of the land you’re gathered on – if you’re not sure, look it up beforehand!
If you’re still not sure, you can just say “Traditional Custodians”.
• Pay respects to Elders past and present. Especially in youth organisations such as Scouting, we choose to add “and emerging”.
Example: I’d like to start by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land we meet on today, the [people] of the [nation] and pay my respects to Elders, past, present and emerging.
You can add more words if you wish. This can be a chance to acknowledge another valued aspect of the local People’s culture, or to say something about the importance of Reconciliation. This part is optional, but it’s important that whatever you say is sincere, purposeful, respectful and
eg: I wish to acknowledge the [people] of the [nation] as the Traditional Custodians of this land. Their traditions have made
sure this land has been cared for and respected for tens of thousands of years.
I pay my respects to Elders, past, present and emerging. We can learn a lot from these Elders so that we can continue their
tradition of caring for the land.