Thursday 02 March 2023

Welcome to Country Ceremony

Womenjeka, boorndup wun beek ba Wurundjeri ballak, “Welcome, we pay our respects to the lands and the Wurundjeri people”

These powerful words were shared with us by Aunty Zeta Thomson in her capacity as an Elder of the Wurundjeri people. We thank her for sharing her knowledge and for inviting us into her culture. It’s a tremendous gesture of faith that we hope to reciprocate in our drive to produce young people of character.

On Friday 24 February Ivanhoe Grammar School strengthened its relationship with the Wurundjeri people through an invitation to Aunty Zeta Thomson and her daughters. We were fortunate to have them accept and come to the school to perform a Welcome to Country ceremony with the students, involving both a smoking ceremony to cleanse the body of bad spirits and a traditional welcome in language.

We heard from Aunty Zeta and Mr Briggs about the significance of inviting indigenous people to perform a Welcome to Country as well as the importance and purpose behind our own Acknowledgement of Country. It was highlighted that although we share a difficult past, it is through building relationships and acknowledging the role of indigenous people and their culture in our society that we can all step towards a brighter, more inclusive future.

As a school we acknowledged Aunty together in her own language, giving back some of the language that had for so many generations been taken from her. Showing through our actions that as she welcomed us onto Wurundjeri land, so too did we welcome her into the Ivanhoe community.

Paul Briggs Curriculum Leader – Maths