Welcome and Acknowledgement of Country

First Nations Voice to Parliament 2023

After almost a century of debate SA Government and Australian Government have committed to establishing a First Nations Voice to Parliament through the First Nations Voice Bill 2023 and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice Referendum.

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Niina Marni (A Kaurna phrase for ‘Hello, how are you?’)

What's the difference between a ‘Welcome to Country’ and an ‘Acknowledgement of Country’?

A ‘Welcome to Country’ is a formal process which recognises both Aboriginal people from another Country and non Aboriginal people. The Welcome can only be undertaken by Kaurna people having the authority and respect within the Kaurna community. Speeches and other forms of ceremony may be involved.

An ‘Acknowledgement of Country’ is also a formal process but, unlike the ‘Welcome’, it can be undertaken by non Aboriginal people as well as Aboriginal people from another Country. Its purpose is to publicly recognise Kaurna people as the Traditional Owner and Custodians of the Adelaide Plains.

City of Adelaide Statement of Acknowledgement

At its meeting of 27 May 2002, the City of Adelaide accepted the need to acknowledge the traditional lands of the Kaurna people at the opening of every Council meeting. At its meeting on 26 June 2012, the City of Adelaide accepted a revised ‘Acknowledgement of Country’.

The wording appears below.

"City of Adelaide acknowledges that we are meeting on the traditional Country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains and pays respect to Elders past and present.
We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the Kaurna people living today.
And we also extend that respect to other Aboriginal Language Groups and other First Nations."

Translated into Kaurna:

City of Adelaide tampendi, ngadlu Kaurna yertangga banbabanbalyarnendi (inbarendi). Kaurna meyunna yaitya mattanya Womma Tarndanyako.
Parnako yailtya, parnuko tappa purruna, parnuko yerta ngadlu tampendi. Yellaka Kaurna meyunna itto yailtya, tappa purruna, yerta kuma burro martendi, burro warriappendi, burro tangka martulyaiendi.
Kumarta yaitya miyurna iyangka yalaka ngadlu tampinthi.

Protocols and guidelines

The City of Adelaide protocol and guidelines on ‘Welcome to Country’ and ‘Acknowledgement of Country’ provides an effective model for communication together with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The comprehensive document describes how to formally engage with the Kaurna community. It also includes examples of the different approaches to delivering the Welcome and how to respond.

Download: City of Adelaide Protocol and Guidelines on Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country

Download: Statement of Acknowledgment Card