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Guidelines for the Acknowledgment of and Welcome to Country for Statistical Society of Australia events

These guidelines draw on the information presented on the Australian Government’s guidelines available at https://www.indigenous.gov.au/contact-us/welcome_acknowledgement-country (Accessed 2020-06-19).

The SSA recognises that in Australia we work and live on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lands, and strongly recommends that all SSA seminars, conferences and workshops, be they conducted in person or online, have a Welcome to Country or an Acknowledgement of Country delivered at the start of the event.

Please note that a Welcome to Country can only be delivered by Traditional Owners/Custodians of the land on which the event takes place. SSA conference organising committees are encouraged to organise a Welcome to Country, but when a Traditional Owner or Custodian of the land on which the event takes place is unavailable, an Acknowledgement of Country should be made. Guidance on the Acknowledgement of Country that should be made for smaller SSA events such as webinars or Branch seminars is provided below.

For events that are taking place in person, an Acknowledgement of Country that includes the name of the people on whose land the event is taking place should be made, where that name is known and there are no disputes. For example (wording taken from the website above):

“I would like to begin by acknowledging the <insert name of people here> people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet today, and pay my respects to their Elders past and present. I extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples here today.”

If the name of the Traditional Owners or Custodians is unknown or there is a dispute, then the “Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet today” can be acknowledged.

Many SSA events take place on University campuses, and several Universities in Australia will have recommended wording for an Acknowledgement of Country. If such recommended wording is available, we recommend that it is used.

For events taking place online (e.g. via Zoom), the following Acknowledgement of Country can be made (taken from the website above):  

“In the spirit of reconciliation the Statistical Society of Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.”

The person performing the Acknowledgment of Country may wish to acknowledge the Traditional Owners or Custodians of the land on which they are located, in addition to the above, if they wish.

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