A Welcome to Country is a ceremony given by Traditional Custodians of the land, it is given at the beginning of formal events such as a conference, seminar or festival. A Welcome to Country can take many forms including singing, dancing, smoking ceremonies and/or a speech.

Protocols for welcoming visitors to Country have been part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures for thousands of years. As a matter of cultural protocol, significant events should invite Traditional Custodians to provide a Welcome to Country.

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How to engage with Traditional Owners to perform a Welcome to Country

1. Find out what Country you’re on, you can do this by;

  • Searching for your local government area/council and Traditional Owners
  • Finding where you are on the AIATSIS Map

2. Find and engage with a Traditional Owner to perform a Welcome where your event takes place. Resources that can assist you when finding and engaging with Traditional Owners:

3. Appropriately compensate Traditional Owners for their time. Prices can vary depending on the event and who is performing, the minimum for performing a Welcome to Country is $250 per participant. You should always budget for a Welcome to Country for your event and you should always ask the Traditional Owner/s for a quote or their fee.

4. Continue to learn and be respectful. Ask questions, gain knowledge and form relationships with the Traditional Owners of the land. This will help you with a Welcome to Country in the future!


Image: Welcome Ceremony - Kumangka Palti Yarta, Anastasia Comelli, 2022