Bowls SA Acknowledges Country, and We Want You To Join Us!

by BowlsSA5

Bowls SA is committed to creating an environment that is inclusive of everyone in the community.  That’s why this National Reconciliation Week, we’re choosing to improve our traditions.

Inclusion is pro-active behaviours, options and actions to make people from all backgrounds, ages, genders and abilities feel welcome, feel respected and feel a sense of belonging.  Being inclusive is about following best practice for what sport should be so that everyone can reap greatest benefit.

On Monday 25 May the Bowls SA Board moved to implement the following:

  1. Provide a verbal Acknowledgement of Country at the first annual board meeting,
  2. Include a written Acknowledgement of Country on board, committee and staff meeting agendas and minutes,
  3. Display an Acknowledgement of Country on www.bowlssa.com.au,
  4. Deliver a verbal Acknowledgement of Country at Bowls SA functions.

The ‘In this together’ theme for National Reconciliation Week is now resonating in many ways in 2020, but it reminds our communities whether in a crisis or in reconciliation we are all #InThisTogether.

Bowls SA encourages all Associations and Clubs to consider where and how they can also acknowledge their Traditional Owners and the land they are on.  Resources below, ‘How to Implement’ can assist with this.

If we can create a respectful and culturally safe environment across the board, we can forge a positive and inclusive meeting place for everyone in the community.

An Acknowledgement of Country might be a small step, but we are proud to be entering that journey.

 

WHAT IS AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY?
An Acknowledgement of Country is an opportunity for anyone to show respect for Australia’s Traditional Owners, and the continuing connection that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have had to the land, sea, sky and waterways. An Acknowledgement of Country can be performed by an Indigenous or non-Indigenous person, and is generally offered at the beginning of a meeting, speech or formal occasion.

WHAT IS A WELCOME TO COUNTRY?
A Welcome to Country is a ceremony performed by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Elders, or Traditional Owners who have been given permission, to welcome visitors onto their traditional land.

WHY ARE WELCOME TO COUNTRY AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY IMPORTANT?
Incorporating welcoming and acknowledgement protocols into official meetings and events recognizes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians, and the Traditional Custodians of the land. It promotes an ongoing connection to place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, and shows respect for Traditional Owners.

HOW TO IMPLEMENT

  1. To find out the Traditional Owners of the land you are on, click on this interactive tool on the AIATSIS Map of Indigenous Australia or the Native Title SA website
  2. Once you know the Traditional Owners of the land, look up their Preferred Statement of Acknowledgement
  3. Add the Acknowledgement of County to your Committee/ Advisory Group meeting agenda for the Chair to read at the commencement of each meeting.  Example Agenda
  4. Have a discussion of other significant meetings, functions and events under your Association’s or Club’s management that could be opened with an Acknowledgement of Country.
  5. To arrange for a Welcome to Country or to create your own Acknowledgement of Country, contact your local Aboriginal Land Council or Native Title SA representative body.

FURTHER READING

For further information, please contact Pania Rawlins, Relationship Program Officer