An Acknowledgment of Country is a way of showing awareness of and respect for the traditional custodians of the land on which a meeting or event is being held, and recognizes the continuing connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to their Country. An Acknowledgment of Country can be informal or formal and involves acknowledging the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander owners of the land as well as recognizing the long and continuing relationship between Indigenous peoples and their Country. At a meeting occasion, the speaker can begin the proceedings by offering an Acknowledgment of Country and it can be performed by an Indigenous or non–Indigenous person. There are no set protocols or wording for an Acknowledgment of Country, though often a statement may take the following form:

‘I am honored to be on the ancestral lands of the <insert traditional area name> people. I acknowledge the First Australians as the traditional custodians of the continent, whose cultures are among the oldest living cultures in human history. I pay respect to the elders of the community and extend my recognition to their descendants and other Indigenous people who are present.’

This information is from the Reconciliation Australia Fact Sheet ‘Welcome to and Acknowledgement of Country’.


Bilin Bilin also known as Jackey Jackey, King of Logan and Pimpama (c.1820-1901), was a prominent leader of the Yugambeh people of south-east Queensland. Bilin Bilin is remembered by his descendants for his efforts to maintain his culture and identity in the face of the British occupation of his country.


Welcome to Country is a cultural protocol where an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander traditional custodian or elder from the local area or language group welcomes people to the land of their ancestors. This may be done through speech, song, dance or ceremony.