Welcomes and Acknowledgements Print
Area:

Governance

Reference:

IndigineousCulturalWelcomesAcknowledgemts_GUIDELINES_ v.1.3Final

DOC ID

RG38

TYPE

GUIDELINES


INDIGENOUS CULTURAL WELCOMES & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

 

1.

PURPOSE

 

 

 

The Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA) acknowledges that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia, the Māori peoples of New Zealand and the indigenous peoples of countries where our members live and work, have special ties to the land and country, as well as in Australia there are specific legal rights of traditional ownership.

 

 

4.

INTENT

 

 

 

To ensure that the RACMA staff, members and community acknowledge, in culturally appropriate ways, the traditional Australian land ownership and continuing links to country of the people indigenous to both Australia and New Zealand region, whenever official public events of the College occur.

 

 

5.

SCOPE

 

 

 

RACMA members, staff, stakeholders, community

 

.

5.1.

MATTERS OUT OF SCOPE OF THIS POLICY

 

 

 

Indigenous cultures and Non-indigenous cultures outside Australia and New Zealand

 

 

6.

KEYWORDS

 

    

 

Welcome, acknowledgement, country, Indigenous

 

 

7.

DEFINITIONS

 

 

 

Welcome to Country

A “Welcome to Country” is a formal ceremony performed by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people to welcome visitors to their traditional land.

 

It can only be performed by a Traditional Custodian from that particular “Country” where the event is being held. This is usually a recognised Elder or person from that land. It can take many forms, depending on the particular culture of the traditional owners, and may include singing, dancing, smoking ceremonies or a speech in traditional language and/or English.

 

Acknowledgement of Country

An Acknowledgement of Country is a statement of recognition of the Traditional Owners of the land on which the event is being held and a demonstration of respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural protocols. It can be performed by an Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person who is not a Traditional Custodian of the land on which the event is being held.

Pōhiri / Pōwhiri

A pōhiri is a formal ceremony performed by Māori people to welcome visitors to their traditional land. It has several customs and protocols and must be led by “Mana Whenua” of that particular location where the event is being held. Its protocols will vary according to the protocols of those leading the pōhiri.

Mihi

A mihi is a verbal greeting that is included at the beginning of a formal presentation / formal letter and/or when you first meet someone.

 

It can have may variants, but it is advised that for each time you wish to use a mihi you seek advice to ensure its appropriacy for the event  



 

 

8.

PROTOCOL

 

 

8.1.

Welcome to a Country

 

 

 

The Welcome to Country should be the first item on the order of proceedings for an event

 

 

 

At official events it is customary for a speaker directly following an Elder performing a Welcome to Country to make a brief Acknowledgement of Country. This demonstrates respect for the Elder and is acceptable practice.

 

8.1.1.

College events where it would be desirable for a “Welcome to Country” to be performed by an Aboriginal Elder from the local community include:

 

 

 

·         Invitation to elders and traditional owner groups to consider conferring a "welcome to country" or other culturally relevant ceremony, dance or ritual

·         Formal acknowledgement by the Chair or Master of Ceremonies at the commencement of the evening

·         RACMA Annual Scientific Congress, when held in Australia

·         Special College events where there are invited members of the public

and/or dignitaries

·         Special College events as determined by staff managing events

 

 

8.2.

Acknowledgement of Country

 

 

 

An Acknowledgement is a respectful public acknowledgment of the Traditional Custodians of the land. It is important that the appropriate custodians are acknowledged depending on the location of the event.

 

Care must be taken to identify the appropriate custodians for the particular location (Country). It is appropriate for the host of the meeting or event to make the Acknowledgement unless a person has been specifically asked to perform this acknowledgement.

 

 

8.2.1.

College events where an Acknowledgement of Country should be

considered include:

 

 

 

·         Board Meetings

·         President’s and Board’s functions

·         Any high-level College Boards and Regional Committees (e.g.

·         Policy and Advocacy Committee, Jurisdictional, other committee meetings)

·         College Open Days

·         At all professional development, training and skills courses run by the

·         College

·         Public launch of new initiatives

·         Special events as determined by staff managing events

 

 

8.3

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

 

 

 

The appropriate welcome address statement is:

 

 

 

“I would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we are meeting. the [insert appropriate group, tribe, clan, people] people, and pay my respects to Elders past and present.”

 

 

 

The responsibility for organising a Welcome to Country or Acknowledgement of Country rests with the Jurisdictional Division, Regional Office, Secretariat or staff member organising the event.

 

The Manager, Membership services will provide advice as requested.

 

 

8.3.1.

Protocol

 

 

i.               

If Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are involved in an event or meeting it is important that the nature of the event and the expected proceedings are discussed with the representatives prior to the event taking place

 

 

ii.              

A “Welcome to Country” usually attracts a fee

 

 

iii.            

The College recognises that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have strong and enduring cultural connections to the land and that showing appropriate respect is an important part of reconciliation

 

 

8.4

Maori

 

 

 

The Pōhiri/Pōwhiri should be the first item on the order of proceedings for an event. At official events a formal pōhiri/pōwhiri should be organised in collaboration with the Mana whenua of the location. A formal pōhiri/pōwhiri usually attracts a fee.

 

A pōhiri/pōwhiri is concluded with food.

 

College events where it would be desirable for a “Pohiri/Powhiri” to be performed by Mana whenua from the local community include:

 

·         RACMA Annual Scientific Congress, when held in Australia

·         Special College events where there are invited members of the public

and/or dignitaries

·         Special College events as determined by staff managing events

 

 

8.5

Mihi

 

A Mihi is a respectful public acknowledgement of the Mana Whenua and/or Tangata Whenua status of Maori people.  It is important that the appropriate custodians are acknowledged depending on the location of the event.

 

Care must be taken to identify the appropriate custodians are acknowledged depending on the location of the event.

 

College events where a mihi is should be considered include:

•      Board Meetings

•      President’s and Board’s functions

•      Any high-level College Boards and Regional Committees (e.g. Policy and Advocacy Committee, Jurisdictional, other committee meetings)

•      College Open Days

•      At all professional development, training and skills courses run by the College

•      Public launch of new initiatives

•           Special events as determined by staff managing events

 

 

9.0.

Responsibilities

 

 

 

The Responsible Officer shall consult with local representatives in the host region / city to establish the identity and nature of elders and traditional owner groups in that region.

Together with local representatives, the Responsible Officer will identify a mechanism consistent with local practice and societal norms for the region to acknowledge and pay respect to elders and traditional owner groups.   This may include and is not limited to:



  • Invitation to elders and traditional owner groups to consider conferring a "welcome to country" or other culturally relevant ceremony such as the powhiri
  • Invitation to local indigenous cultural groups to provide a brief ceremony.
  • Formal acknowledgement by the Chair or Master of Ceremonies at the commencement of the event
 

Where ceremony is the preferred method, consideration shall be given in the budget for the event to a funding allocation to recompense local indigenous groups who may be invited to assist.

 

 

10.

ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTS

 

 

 

Indigenous Health Policy

 

 

 

Maori Health Action Plan

 

 

 

Reconciliation Action Plan

 

 
Last Updated on Monday, 17 September 2018 11:23