I realised a couple of years ago that other states don’t have the same respect for their indigenous communities as does South Australia.
At all of our public events, we are welcomed to country by a Kaurna (pronounced gar-na) elder. The Kaurna community are officially the guardians of the Adelaide Plains, and in a huge win were the first indigenous community to obtain native title over a metropolitan area. The Adelaide Plains are called Tarntanya, meaning ‘red kangaroo place’.
One day last year, when I waxed lyrical about the most amazing welcome to country I’d ever been involved in — at a massive networking event where one of the Aunties got us to hold hands and recite it to each other — to my husband, I realised that there are a lot of people who don’t know what it is!
He said to me, ‘What’s a welcome to country? I’ve never heard it.’
It’s top of mind for me right now because tomorrow morning I’m going to learn how to recite the acknowledgement of country.
You see, Kaurna can welcome me to their land, and I can acknowledge them as custodians of the land. But it’s not my land, so I can’t welcome you to their land.
Does that make sense?
Technically, I’m from Gunditjmara country, anyway.
Ok, well without further ado, here is a beautiful welcome to country, so you can see and hear it (and learn a bit more about this beautiful place):
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