It is now commonplace for events to begin with a welcome to Kaurna land speech by a Kaurna Elder, often Kauwanu (Uncle) Lewis O’Brien or Ngarpadla (Auntie) Josie Agius, or sometimes by a younger person such as a student at Kaurna Plains School where Kaurna is taught. Whilst these speeches take a variety of forms, a minimalist Kaurna speech is reproduced here in order to familiarise people with a few of the common elements within these speeches.
Protocol and Guidelines
Adelaide City Council Protocol and Guidelines on ‘Welcome to Country’ and ‘Acknowledgement of Country’ provides an effective model for communication together with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The comprehensive document describes how to formally engage with the Kaurna community. It also includes examples of the different approaches to delivering the Welcome and how to respond.
Download a copy of the Adelaide City Council Protocol and Guidelines on ‘Welcome to Country’ and ‘Acknowledgement of Country’
To engage a Kaurna person or group you will need to access Council’s ‘Welcome Register’ of approved person or group to deliver a ‘Welcome to Country’. The register includes contact details and other information about the person or group and what services they can provide.
A key contact list is available (below) for use which outlines a Welcome Register of Kaurna contacts for specific purposes.
Download a copy of the Kaurna Welcome Register
» Kaurna Welcome to Country Register (PDF, 202KB)
Minimalist Kaurna Welcome (Lester Irabinna Rigney)
Cherie Warrara Watkins - Parliament House
Ladies and gentlemen, are you all good? (ie hello)
My name is Lester Irabinna Rigney.
I say “It’s good that you (all) came to Kaurna country. Exclusively Indigenous (ie sovereign) land” (ie welcome)
My dear sister(s) (and) brother(s). (ie thank you)
Several non-Indigenous organisations are now wanting to respond with some words of recognition of Kaurna country and Kaurna people in the language of the land. Accordingly statements of acknowledgement have now been developed in Kaurna.
ACC Statement of Acknowledgement
At its meeting of 27 May 2002, the Adelaide City Council accepted the need to acknowledge the traditional lands of the Kaurna people at the opening of every Council meeting.
A very brief statement of acknowledgement in the Kaurna language is as follows:
‘We recognise Kaurna people and their land.’
The Adelaide City Council acknowledgement in English reads:
“Adelaide City Council acknowledges that we are meeting on the traditional country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains.
We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the Kaurna people living today.”
A Kaurna translation of this follows:
ACCrlo tampendi, ngadlu Kaurna yertangga banbabanbalyarnendi (inbarendi). Kaurna meyunna yaitya mattanya Womma Tarndanyako.
Parnako yailtya, parnuko tappa purruna, parnuko yerta ngadlu tampendi. Yellaka Kaurna meyunna itto yailtya, tappa purruna, yerta kuma burro martendi, burro warriappendi, burro tangka martulyaiendi.
A simplified version, that is a little more detailed than the brief acknowledgement is as follows:
Ngadlu yerlteriburka ACCko tampendi ngadlu Kaurna yertangga inbarendi.
Kaurna meyunnarlo parnako yerta, yailtyanna, tappa purruna kuma burro martendi, burro tangka martulyaiendi. Yaintya ngadlu tampendi.
‘We Adelaide City Councillors acknowledge that we are meeting on Kaurna land.
Kaurna people still embrace and long for their land, beliefs and way of life. This we recognise.’
Download a copy of the Kaurna Acknowledgement of Country
Content courtesy of:
Kaurna Warra Pintyandi
Signatories: Dr Alice Wallara Rigney, Lewis O'Brien and Rob Amery