In beginning our journey, we would like to acknowledge the past, present, and future custodians, our First Nations people, of the land on which this social media experiment is being developed, the Ngunnawal/Ngambri people, whose lands and rivers form the foundation of the city we call Canberra.
Our university, the Australian National University, sits on land where Ngunnawal/Ngambri ancestors hunted, camped, traded, and conducted ceremonies beside the river beds. It is a tradition to Acknowledge or Welcome people to country, and it is a practice that has been handed down by First Nations elders from the beginning of time.
Before entering another person’s country, a traveller would always announce their arrival and not enter until a traditional owner of that land welcomed them. The reason for this practice was to protect one’s spirit while it was in another person’s country and also to show respect for the people of the country that was being entered.
We – Julia Brown, Ian Pollock, Simon Theobald and Jodie-Lee Trembath – give acknowledgement that we are not from this country. Our families are from many places. We acknowledge that our being here is a product of a long history of disinterment, destruction, and in many cases, genocide. We give this acknowledgement not as restitution, but as a token of our respect, in the hope that it might bring all people together for the better, in a shared future.