The Welcome to Country has been used for thousands of years. Traditionally it was used as an invitation or permission to access or pass through a certain area.
In turn, they would have to acknowledge and respect the rules of the Country that was being entered. These protocols have never disappeared over the length of the history of Aboriginal people, but have gone through a few changes over the last 200 years.
The Welcome to Country involves an Elder or Traditional Owner of the land that the people are gathering to meet, asking spirits of ancestors to watch over and keep guests safe while they are in the Elder or TOs Country. Acknowledgement of Country is where any person can show respect for Aboriginal culture and heritage, by doing that they acknowledge the land that they meet on and pay respects to all Aboriginal people.
Today the Welcome to Country or Acknowledgement of Country is used in a more generic way acknowledging wider groups such as Noongar and Yamatji people. Incorporating a Welcome or Acknowledgement into events and meetings show that you or your company recognise Indigenous people as the First Australians and custodians of their land. From a business standpoint, it shows that your organisation has a commitment to inclusion and diversity for Aboriginal staff and future employees.
NACC NRM remains committed to reconciliation and greatly values the recognition of Country.