Acknowledging Country

DRAFT

Welcome to Country

The Traditional Owners of Country across the Glenelg Hopkins region introduce and welcome you to their Country. Please click the Traditional Owner group symbols below.

BGLC logo

Acknowledgement of Country

We proudly acknowledge Traditional Owners and Aboriginal communities and organisations. We recognise their rich cultural diversity and intrinsic continuing connection to Country. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.

We also recognise and acknowledge the contribution, interests and rights that Traditional Owners and Aboriginal communities and organisations have in land and water management. We value our partnerships with them, for the health of people and Country.

Traditional Owners have never ceded their rights to land, water and other natural resources, or their cultural obligations to look after Country. Country is Family. Traditional Owner relationships with Country are equal to relationships with family.

Truth telling

Prior to colonisation, the Glenelg Hopkins landscape was healthy and provided sustenance for the people and wildlife that lived here. With European settlement came foreign plants and animals and changed management practices, which impacted the land and the people. Traditional Owners were forced out of the landscape and could not maintain their obligations to Country. South-west Victoria has a particularly brutal history of violence and massacres. The First Peoples Assembly of Victoria and the Victorian Government have made a shared commitment to truth telling through the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission. The Commission is expected to establish an official record of the impact of colonisation on First Peoples in Victoria and make recommendations about practical actions and reforms needed. This will likely inform integrated catchment management across the State and the Glenelg Hopkins region into the future.

Treaty

The State of Victoria is also working with Aboriginal Victorians through the First Peoples Assembly to progress discussions on Treaty. Treaty is an agreement between governments and First Nations – it is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the status, rights, cultures and histories of Aboriginal Victorians. It also helps address the wrongs to build stronger relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Victorians, and the State.

Header photo: Gunditjmara eel basket, Museum Victoria