Traditional custodians and how to acknowledge

There many different language groups within the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The traditional Aboriginal groups of the Inner West Council area are the Gadigal and Wangal peoples of the Eora Nation.

Gadigal people

Although exact boundaries cannot be determined, it is believed the Gadigal clan stretched along the south side of Port Jackson from South Head to about Petersham.

Wangal people

The Wangal people were believed to have occupied the area along the southern shore of the Parramatta River, from about Petersham to about Rosehill.

How to acknowledge the traditional custodians

There are two ways in which you can acknowledge the Aboriginal traditional custodians of the Inner West Council area.

Welcome to Country

A Welcome to Country is done to welcome people from another country or area onto country and into community. 

A Welcome to Country can only be given by an Elder of the local Aboriginal community, unless permission is given to another member of that community.

An Elder generally is a Aboriginal person who has the cultural knowledge of their people, either traditional or contemporary knowledge, and has the respect of their community. To make contact with an appropriate Elder, contact Council’s Aboriginal Community Staff or the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council

Acknowledgement of Country

The other way to acknowledge Aboriginal traditional custodians is by performing an Acknowledgement of Country.

An Acknowledgement of Country can be performed by everyone and anyone.

Two basic points about an Acknowledgement of Country is to ensure that you acknowledge the Aboriginal clan and/or country for where you are meeting and to acknowledge the descendants of those people who are still with us today.

Acknowledging the country that we live on should be part of our everyday.

Acknowledging that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have an intrinsic connection to the land and have cared for country for over 60,000 years is nothing but truth telling.

Acknowledging Indigenous peoples way of life has been devastated by colonisation is a sign of respect.

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Page last updated: 12 Oct 2020