2–5 February 2021


Special Event

Welcome to Country


Presenting Author(s): Parbin-ata Carolyn Briggs AM
02 February 2021
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At ServDes.2020 we are honoured to have the Welcome to Country given by Parbin-ata Carolyn Briggs AM, who is also RMIT’s resident Indigenous Boon wurrung Elder.

​In this video Aunty Briggs and Aunty Di Kerr (Wurundjeri Elder), share their traditional knowledge of the Victorian waterways.

"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. When permission was granted the hosting group would welcome the visitors, offering them safe passage and protection of their spiritual being during the journey. 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. However, the essential elements of welcoming visitors and offering safe passage remain in place. A Welcome to Country occurs at the beginning of a formal event and can take many forms including singing, dancing, smoking ceremonies or a speech in traditional language or English. A Welcome to Country is delivered by Traditional Owners, or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have been given permission from Traditional Owners, to welcome visitors to their Country."

(From Reconciliation Australia)

Europe (CET): 1st February 2021 10:00 pm to 10:30 pm

US (EST): 1st February 2021 4:00 pm to 4:30 pm

Screen shot of Aunty Briggs video