A Welcome to Country is where Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander custodians or Elder from the local region welcomes people to their land. This may be done through speech, song, dance or ceremony, and can only be performed by a traditional custodian from that particluar Country where the event is being held.
Welcome to Country has been part of Aboriginal culture for thousands of years. Aboriginal people have clearly defined territories and boundaries that are still observed by Aboriginal groups today. When entering another group’s country, traditional protocols required visitors to seek permission to enter. When permission was provided, visitors were granted safe passage through another’s country and were held responsible for maintaining the cultural protocols of that land.