Acknowledgement of Country

Acknowledgement of Country

St Margaret’s Berwick Grammar pays their respects to the Wurundjeri and Bunurong people of the Kulin nation.

We acknowledge the land, mother earth as a place where theirculture and traditions live on. We all come from the land and
must respect her, as we walk upon her. We appreciate the ongoing role of Indigenous peoples in our society, and their rich history, and acknowledge their elders past, present and emerging.

Written by RAP committee members Ida Gaulke and Elizabeth Day

Significance of the Acknowledgement of Country

Interview with Murrundindi conducted by RAP committee members Sanya Verma and Mehr Ali (2 May 2019).

Mehr: “What do you feel is the true purpose of acknowledging the Aboriginal landowners at the beginning of each assembly?”
Murrundindi: “Elders do a Welcome to Country. To acknowledge means you are showing respect for the indigenous Wurundjeri people of this area. The Wurundjeri people have been here since the beginning of time and have been the first inhabitants of this country. By acknowledging they were here is showing respect to the Aboriginal people. Acknowledgement makes me feel proud to be part of the school, because you are recognising the past.”
Sanya: “Murrundindi, what does a reconciled country look like to you?”
Murrundindi – “It looks like all of us are coming together as one people, celebrating and walking the path together.”

Appreciation verse said at the beginning of our morning meetings in the ELC

We are the Wallaby class.
Thank you to the Wurundjeri people for letting us share your land.
We promise we will look after it, the animals and the people too.
Hello land, Wominjeka.
Hello sky, Wominjeka.
Hello me, Wominjeka.
Hello friends, Wominjeka.

Written by the Wallaby class of the ELC

‘This is the appreciation verse said at the beginning of our morning meetings. One of the children plays the clapping sticks whilst all say this verse together.’ Sue Eden – Coordinator of the Early Learning Centre

A Teacher's Perspective

The first part of changing the rhythms of engaging with indigenous cultures, is the acknowledgement. The way it is said, rather than the words. Does it actually have meaning? What does the acknowledgement mean to you? Is it something passive or something you can connect to? What does Wurundjeri and Bunurong country look like today? It is everywhere around us. This is the country. When you hear the acknowledgement, try to connect to the environment. Remember what it feels like to sit under a tree, to feel the grass beneath your feet, to feel the wind on your face, to listen to the sounds of nature around you. It helps to understand when you can see it, feel it, experience it. We know that we ought to teach an awareness of the country we come from, and the country we teach or learn on, and to explain the significance of the Aboriginals ongoing connection and care of the land that we have the privilege to teach and learn on.

Sean Pieper – Teacher and RAP Committee member, 2019.

Smoking Ceremonies: Explained by Murrundindi

Smoking ceremonies are normally done on special occasions and functions. They are done to cleanse the area and welcome people onto your Country. After the smoking ceremony the smoke will settle and this will cleanse the body of the people, cleanse the land and where you are. It also gives a safe journey whilst upon the land. Native wild cherry and sacred fungus are used. After the ceremony the manna gum leaf was handed out by the elder as a passport to travel on and through the Country.