Welcome to Country

What is a Welcome to Country?

A Welcome to Country is delivered by an Elder, Traditional Owner or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person who have been given permission from Traditional Owners, to welcome visitors to their Country. A Welcome to Country occurs at the beginning of a formal event, meeting or speech and can take many forms including singing, dancing, smoking ceremonies or a speech in traditional language or English.

Protocols for welcoming visitors to Country have been a part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures for thousands of years. Despite the absence of formal fences or visible borders, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups had clear boundaries separating their Country from that of other groups. Traditionally it is a ceremony to not only welcome an outsider to Country but also grants permission to enter their land, outlines protocols of entry and is an offering of safe passage.

Today, much has changed and these protocols have been adapted to contemporary society. However, the essential elements of welcoming visitors and offering safe passage remain in place. It also now serves to distinguish Traditional Owners and their enduring connection to Country.

In this spirit, Welcome to Country is about respectful travel to another’s Country. The experiences you will find listed on our marketplace are among the best in Australia. You will be immersed in the world’s oldest living culture and provided with insights into a rich culture. In return you are asked to respect the Country, culture and people.