What is an Acknowledgment of Country – CQU students explain
Discussing a respectful simple way to acknowledge country and when and where to do so.
Teacher: Hi, we just need to do an acknowledgement of country so can I get you and you, yep, we're just going to get you guys to come out there and just doing an acknowledgement of country. Great, all right, you've got five minutes, thanks girls. Have fun out there! All right, places people.
Student 1: What does country mean?
Student 2: Well, as a Mamu woman, when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people say country they're talking about the land, the water and sky where they grow up and live now. It is the place they feel at one with, or connected to.
Student 1: So we talk about acknowledging country, what does that mean?
Student 2: When words are spoken about acknowledging country it helps recognize that the place where we're gathered is special to the people who first lived here and to the first people it is still connected to, the traditional owners of the land.
Student 1: When is the right time to acknowledge country?
Student 2: A country can be acknowledged at any time, though usually it is said out loud by one person at the beginning of a meeting or event. It helps recall the respect held for traditional owners and the place that they gathered today.
Student 1: I'm not an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person, can I still acknowledge country? And what would I say?
Student 2: Everyone is welcome to share their thoughts when acknowledging country, though it has to be said with sincerity. When words are spoken with honesty and respect for First Nations traditional owners acknowledging country can actually help bring people together.
Student 1: I was thinking that it would be best to mention the people of the country I'm acknowledging, that it would be good to know who they are and where they're from. So how would I do that?
Student 2: Great idea, you can go on the CQUniversity website or check out a map. Or if you're unsure of the specific language names of the nation you're in you can always just do a general acknowledgement.
Student 1: Hey can we try acknowledging country together?
Student 2: Of course! We would like to respectfully acknowledge the traditional owners on whose land we are gathering today.
Student 1: We pay our respects to the first nations people of their elders of the past those who are with us today.
Student 2: And those who will lead in the future.