Before many formal presentations often that have some connection with the government there is a formal acknowledgement of the traditional owners of the area and the tribe.

This is usually in the form below and can be more general as can be found here in a Victorian government information page

'Our meeting/conference/workshop is being held on the traditional lands [or country] of the [Traditional Owner group's name] people and I wish to acknowledge them as Traditional Owners.

I would also like to pay my respects to their Elders, past and present, and the Elders from other communities who may be here today.'

What I want to know is, are these acknowledgements valued by Australian indigenous people or is it seen as an empty statement?

  • 3
    Why do you assume the perception is monolithic? Some indigenous people may value these. Others may view it as political hot air.
    – Brythan
    Mar 24, 2018 at 19:51
  • I personally don't assume it's monolithic like any groups there is variation. Perceptions about groups are often monolithic so that's why I left the question that way. My hope is that the answer addresses these details. Mar 24, 2018 at 21:32
  • It's an empty gesture. The Aboriginal people have long lost their land to European invaders and nothing can change that. May 30, 2018 at 15:30

1 Answer 1


Generally yes

While I don't know a whole lot about it myself, according to some poking around on the internet, this is what some elders have to say:

I think it's fantastic [to do Acknowledgement of Country ceremonies], ten years ago we weren't even acknowledged.

-- Warren Mundine

Further, politicians continue to back it.

[Acknowledgement of Country] says to the world, and more importantly to ourselves, that we accept the fact we are in a place that has a history and story far beyond 220 years. It says to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander fellow Australians that we are all in the future journey of our country together.

-- Richard Wynne, Victorian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs


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