Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Resources

Who are the registered Aboriginal Parties in Brimbank?  

According to Aboriginal Affairs, the northern part of Brimbank is determined as Wurundjeri Land.

The Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation is the Registered Aboriginal Party as per the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006. The Wurundjeri People are the Traditional Custodians of this land. 

For the Central, East and Southern side of the Municipality, about 2/3 of the total area, is contested land and the Traditional Owners are yet to be officially determined.

For information and enquiries related to this region, please contact Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation or Registered Aboriginal Parties for boundaries and maps.

What is a Welcome to Country?

A Welcome to Country recognises the continuing connection of Aboriginal Traditional Owners to their Country. 

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.

Book a Wurundjeri Aboriginal Elder to perform a Welcome to Country.

What is an Acknowledgement of Country?

According to Reconciliation Australia's Acknowledgement of Country Guidelines, an Acknowledgment of Country names the Traditional Owner group/s as the ongoing Custodians of the land being met on.

It can be given by both non-Indigenous people and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. 

Over the years Acknowledgement of Country has become more commonly used in Australia. There is a growing interest in how organisations respectfully and formally acknowledge Traditional Owners within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have experienced a long history of exclusion. Incorporating Acknowledgement to Country into official meetings and events is one of the means to recognise the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of land and a way of ending the exclusion that has been so damaging. 

Acknowledgements are usually delivered as part of welcome and housekeeping at significant or large internal meetings, meetings with external participants, as part of speeches, events and also expressed on behalf of an organisation in different forms of communications, such as email signature blocks, websites, and on social media. 

The guidelines indicate there are no set protocols or wording for an Acknowledgement of Country. However it's important that an Acknowledgement respectfully recognises the rightful Traditional Owner group/s.

General - This should be used if you don’t know the name of the people on whose land you are gathered, or if there are disputes about the land.

I would like to begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners or Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet today. I would also like to pay my respects to Elders past and present.

Specific - This should be used where there are no disputes and you know the name of the people on whose land you are gathered.

I would like to begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners or Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet today, the (People) of the (Nation) and pay my respects to Elders past and present.

An Acknowledgement of Country in Brimbank

We offer the following suggestions for conducting an Acknowledgement of Country in Brimbank. However, you are at the discretion to provide an Acknowledgement to Country that aligns with your meeting context while acknowledging the rightful Traditional Custodians.

In the North Region (Wurundjeri Land) of Brimbank

I or (Name of Organisation, group) acknowledge/s the Traditional Custodians of this land, the Wurundjeri People, and pay my/our respects to Elders past and present.

or

I or (Name of Organisation, group) acknowledge/s the Traditional Custodians of this land, the Wurundjeri People, and pay my/our respects to Elders past and present. I or (Name of Organisation, group) recognise the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples who contribute to our community, I or (Name of Organisation, group) pay my/our respect to the wisdom of Elders, past, present and emerging.

Other parts of Brimbank  

I or (Name of Organisation, group) acknowledge/s the Traditional Custodians of this land, the Wurundjeri People, and pay my/our respects to Elders past and present.

or

I or (Name of Organisation, group) acknowledge/s the Traditional Custodians of this land, and pay my/our respects to Elders past and present.

or

I or (Name of Organisation, group) acknowledge/s the Traditional Custodians of this land, the Wurundjeri People, and pay my/our respects to Elders past and present. I or (Name of Organisation, group) recognise the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples who contribute to our community, I or (Name of Organisation, group) pay my/our respect to the wisdom of Elders, past, present and emerging.

or

I or (Name of Organisation, group) acknowledge/s the Traditional Custodians of this land and pay my/our respects to Elders past and present. I or (Name of Organisation, group) recognise the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples who contribute to our community, I or (Name of Organisation, group) pay my/our respect to the wisdom of Elders, past, present and emerging.

If you are unsure of phrasing or specific details, we recommend you contact the local Traditional Owners for information or Council’s Customer Service Centre or email reconciliation@brimbank.vic.gov.au.

What is the difference between Traditional Owners and Traditional Custodians?

These terms are used interchangeably. Aboriginal People may prefer to refer to themselves as Custodians. State and Territory Governments will typically refer to Traditional Owners.

Rivers to Recognition Education Directory

The Rivers to Recognition Education Directory  was developed in 2014 as part of the Rivers to Recognition collaborative project between Melbourne’s western region councils.

You can use the directory to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, culture and history in Melbourne, Victoria and Australia.

It isn’t a definitive resource and is a starting point only. We encourage you to continue your research and get involved in community events and activities.