Indigenous cultural protocols

The development of respectful relationships between the University of Melbourne and Indigenous Australians is an important step towards reconciliation. Respect can be manifested either by an Acknowledgement of or a Welcome to Country, which are described briefly below. More information about Cultural Protocols at the University can be found on the Murrup Barak website.

Acknowledgement of Country and Welcome to Country

There are two distinct cultural protocols, and the distinction between them is important as it can cause offence if they are confused:

An Acknowledgement of Country is a statement of recognition that is made by someone who is NOT a Traditional Custodian or Owner of the country or land on which the statement is being made. Acknowledgements of Country can be offered as a formal or informal statement. Depending on your event, you may want to extend the acknowledgement, i.e to other Indigenous people who may be present or to the Indigenous leadership at the University.

Example text for Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge that we are on the lands of the Wurundjeri people who have been custodians of this land for thousands of years, and acknowledge and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.

Welcome to Country or Traditional Welcome is a statement of welcome that can ONLY be made by a Traditional Owner or Custodian of the land or Country on which the statement is being made. This allows Traditional Owners/Custodians to give their blessing to the event.

Our campuses are situated as followed:

  • Parkville, Southbank, Werribee and Burnley – the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung peoples
  • Shepparton and Dookie – the Yorta Yorta Nation
  • Creswick – the Dja Dja Wurrung people.

More information about cultural protocols