Paying Respect to the First Peoples of Australia
'An Acknowledgement of Country is an opportunity for anyone to show respect for Traditional Owners and the continuing connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to Country. It can be given by both non-Indigenous people and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Similar to a Welcome to Country, an Acknowledgement of Country is generally offered at the beginning of a meeting, speech or formal occasion.'
The Acknowledgement Song was first written on Whadjuk Noongar country. Guidance was sought from Aunty Marie Taylor, Merinda Hansen and Della Rae Morrison when writing The Acknowledgement Song. All funds raised from the sale of music and notation are reinvested in projects that promote reconciliation.
What is an Acknowledgment of Country?
An Acknowledgement of Country is a modern interpretation of a traditional ritual where respect is paid to the first custodians of the land. Ancestors are called upon to protect visitors and provide them with safe passage.
How can we use this song?
The Acknowledgement Song can be sung by everyone in Australia, to show respect for the First Peoples of this country. Before singing this song, please clarify with the traditional custodians, the name of the country you are upon, and change lyrics accordingly. As a reference, you may wish to consult the AIATSIS Map of Indigenous Australia. https://aiatsis.gov.au/explore/articles/aiatsis-map-indigenous-australia
When can we sing this song?
The Acknowledgement Song should never take the place of a Welcome to Country. At the beginning of a meeting, speech or formal occasion, organisers should prioritise a Welcome to Country from an Elder who is ancestrally connected to the local land. If no elder is available, a Welcome to Country or an Acknowledgement of Country from a First Nations Person can be delivered. If this is not possible, an Acknowledgement of Country can be delivered by a non-Indigenous person or persons, including the singing of this song, with the correct country name inserted.
Background of the Artist?
Jemma King is a non-Indigenous woman, born on Whadjuk boodjar in Perth, Western Australia. With a profound respect for country and culture, she has written this song to be sung by Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, for the purpose of acknowledging the First Peoples and their country.
100% of funds raised in the sale of The Acknowledgement Song go directly towards the upkeep of this website.