mark mckenna on welcome to country and acknowledgement of country protocol


‘Tokenism or belated recognition? Welcome to Country and the emergence of Indigenous protocol in Australia, 1991–2014’, Journal of Australian Studies 38, 4 (2014).

This article addresses the largely neglected history of the widespread acceptance of Indigenous protocol across Australia since 1991. Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country ceremonies are now established as permanent features in Australia’s cultural landscape. For the first time, the article seeks to explain the origins, development and historical significance of Indigenous protocol. In particular, it explores the Indigenous perspective. It explains how the protocols emerged largely due to the initiatives of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation (1991) and Reconciliation Australia (2000) and argues that they constitute the infiltration of a radically different understanding of both history and place in Australia.

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