Policies were challenged during a reconciliation event at the University of Wollongong last night. Jade Kennedy, a Yuin man from the Illawarra and South Coast, custodian of his country, chairperson for the Illawarra Aboriginal Lands Council and a lecturer and academic developer in Indigenous knowledge and perspectives at the University of Wollongong, took to the stage to challenge the manner in which Indigenous customs are being understood.
UOW implemented the Welcome to Country policy in 2015. Within the policy Welcome to Country ‘… should be the first item on the order of proceedings for the event and may comprise a single speech given by an Elder with or without an accompanying performance, such as playing of the Didgeridoo.’
UOWTV Multimedia reporter Lillian Watkins met with Mr Kennedy to discuss the implications of the current use of Welcome to Country and what should be done to address reconciliation.
Cultural Note: This video may feature images of Indigenous Australians who are deceased.
First Welcome to Ceremony performed at Parliament.
Video Credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1JwyxNh3Ak