We acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional land of Wadda Wurrung people and honour and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.
And in Wadda Wurrung language we say kim barne barre Wadda Wurrung (this is the land of the Wadda Warrung).
We ask that you respect and care for this land and in turn this land will look after you as was the case with our Ancestors for more than forty thousand years.
Connection to culture helps our people be strong, and assists the wider community to understand and embrace who we are. We build cultural connectedness with a range of our activities, but also with specific sessions and programs.
To contribute to community culture, we provide:
- cultural sessions
- Acknowledgement and Welcome to Country
- attendance at festivals such as Pako Fest and Deans Marsh
- language sessions (to be launched soon).
The cultural sessions involve explanations to children, teachers, organisations and others about:
- the Wathaurong culture, past and present
Acknowledgement and Welcome to Country
Acknowledgement (by non-Traditional Owners) and Welcome (by Traditional Owners) to Country involves:
- explaining the importance and relevance of Aboriginal culture in today's setting
- welcoming at events and citizenship ceremonies.
For more information about Welcome to Country, or if you need a Welcome to Country performed at your event, please call or email us.
Why do we do Welcome to country
Protocols for welcoming visitors to Country have been a part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures for thousands of years. Despite the absence of fences or visible borders, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups had clear boundaries separating their Country from that of other groups. Crossing into another group’s Country required a request for permission to enter—like gaining a visa—and when that permission was granted the hosting group would welcome the visitors, offering them safe passage. For example, in some areas visitors would sit outside the boundary of another group’s land and light a fire to signal their request to enter. A fire lit in response would indicate approval and welcome from the land owning group and often, on meeting, gifts would be exchanged. While visitors were provided with a safe passage, they also had to respect the protocols and rules of the land owner group while on their Country. Today, obviously much has changed and these protocols have been adapted to contemporary circumstances but the essential ingredients of welcoming visitors and offering safe passage remain in place.