The “Welcome to Country” and “Acknowledgement of Country” recognise the unique position of Aboriginal people in Australian culture and history.
Aboriginal people are the Original Custodians of our land. It is important this unique position is recognised and incorporated as part of the official protocol and events to enable the wider community to share in our culture and heritage, assisting better relationships between Aboriginal people, local Aboriginal members and the wider community.
By integrating Aboriginal Acknowledgements and Ceremonies into official events and daily proceedings, community organisations, government agencies, private business/corporations and the wider community can provide opportunities to recognise and pay respect to Aboriginal people’s culture and heritage. They also highlight the importance and promote mutual respect and understanding of the cultural heritage of Aboriginal people and our traditional lands.
What is the difference between a Welcome to Country and an Acknowledgement of Country?
A Welcome to Country is a formal welcome onto Aboriginal Land given by an elder or person of that land. Official events such as open days or official openings should include a Welcome to Country by the appropriate local Aboriginal Elder. You can contact your Local Aboriginal Land Council to find out who the most appropriate person for the Welcome to Country is in your community.
An Acknowledgement of Country involves any person from the general community paying their respects to the traditional custodians of the land. A sample of the wording you may wish to use is given below.
When to give an Acknowledgement of Country
Acknowledgement of country can be incorporated into team meetings, board meetings, training events, interagency meetings, conferences and any other celebratory events. It is also good practice to include an Acknowledgement of Country in your official documents such as the annual report, policies and procedures manual, client information pack and staff induction manual.
NESST takes a leadership role and gives a voice to local communities
NESST is committed to a sustainable and reliable service system
NESST encourages and facilitates efficient and effective service provision
We are able to provide advice and support in relation to workforce and service planning and coordinate strategies for service development. We are here to help identify examples of best practice in community development and service provision.
We provide a confidential and collaborative problem solving service to help in resolving the challenges and problems faced by staff and organisations providing services in the sector.
We can assist organisations throughout the recruitment process, to identify the right person for the job. We can also assist in the developing position descriptions and determining the appropriate award level for a position.
We can assist organisations with the development and review of policy and procedures and ensure that the Common Care Standards are met. We are also able to provide comment on policy proposals and discussion papers.
We provide and facilitate a wide range of non-accredited training opportunities for staff and volunteers across the sector. Training we are able to provide includes (but is not limited to) Cultural Awareness Training, Volunteer Training, Orientation Training, Dementia Awareness and Communication.
Support and Resources
We provide program and sector information to organisations and are responsible for organising a bi-annual regional forum. We also develop and produce handbooks and guidelines for service providers.
We provide information on policies and guidelines for service providers in the Community Care Sector.
We organise and coordinate a number of networks and forums for service providers which provide an ideal opportunity to network and share experiences, improve knowledge, discuss best practice and identify solutions to problems.
Promotion and Advocacy
We can assist organisations with marketing and promotional activities by promoting and endorsing organisations and their services throughout the Community Care Sector through our networks. We can also provide advocacy support to assist organisations and staff by representing and working with a person or organisation to exercise their rights, in order to ensure that their rights are upheld.
For more information about how NESST can help your organisation, call us on 02 6772 3590