Day 113

Acknowledgement of Country – map of Tasmania Photo: Andrew Hughes.
Photo: Andrew Hughes

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Acknowledgement of Country

As we’re riding around Australia this year we are working through a Reconcilation Action Plan (RAP). One part of this is to think about and create our own Acknowledgement of Country.

Acknowledgement of Country:

We, the Swag Family, come from an island and grew up knowing it only as Tasmania. This year our journey will take us further back in time and open our eyes to the country we call home. We acknowledge the First Peoples of this land, lutruwita / trowerna, who for over 2000 generations cared for, and were the custodians of this country. Today we look to a living culture, the pakana, the palawa, to learn from, and for tomorrow we understand the importance of their knowledge, and the future leaders within these strong communities.

So, what is an Acknowledgement of Country?

According to Narragunnawali:

‘An Acknowledgement of Country is a way of showing respect for the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land on which learning is taking place or a meeting or event is being held. An Acknowledgement of Country is different from a Welcome to Country, which is a formal welcome onto land and can only be conducted by Traditional Owners or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have been given permission from Traditional Owners to welcome visitors to their Country.

The acts of being welcomed to and acknowledging Country are a continuation of protocols that have been practised for thousands of years. For non-Indigenous Australians, Acknowledgement of Country is a symbolic act of reconciliation as it recognises the continuing connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to Country.’

How about putting together your own Acknowledgement of Country?

Checkout Reconciliation Australia’s educational platform Narragunnawali to begin with. They have some great free Australian Curriculum aligned resources.

National Reconciliation Week 2019

Whilst you’re at it let us know what you’re doing for National Reconciliation Week (NRW) (27 May – 3 June 2019). The 2019 theme is Grounded in Truth: Walk Together with Courage. From the Reconciliation Australia website:

‘At the heart of reconciliation is the relationship between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. To foster positive race relations, our relationship must be grounded in a foundation of truth.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have long called for a comprehensive process of truth-telling about Australia’s colonial history. Our nation’s past is reflected in the present, and will continue to play out in future unless we heal historical wounds.

Today, 80 per cent of Australians believe it is important to undertake formal truth telling processes, according to the 2018 Australian Reconciliation Barometer. Australians are ready to come to terms with our history as a crucial step towards a unified future, in which we understand, value and respect each other.

Whether you’re engaging in challenging conversations or unlearning and relearning what you know, this journey requires all of us to walk together with courage. This National Reconciliation Week, we invite Australians from all backgrounds to contribute to our national movement towards a unified future.’

NRW resources:

Other interesting resources: