Acknowledgement of Country, active respect and caring for the land

Acknowledgement of Country, active respect  and caring for the land

Key words:

Place/Country responsive play, acknowledgment, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, conservation, Indigenous knowledge, caring for Country


Birdwings Forest School, C & K Weipa, Tamborine Mountain Community Kindergarten, Rockhampton South Kindergarten


Many of the participating centres actively acknowledge country in various ways. At Birdwings Forest School, this practice occurs at the start of each day. They collectively acknowledge Country with the children, introducing themselves to the land and acknowledging the rich culture and history of the local Country. Directors and educators Jen and Narell feel strongly about nurturing children’s awareness that everyone is a visitor on the land, and the importance of taking care of the land and each other. This awareness helps generate a sense of togetherness and stewardship. At C & K Weipa, director Liz is committed to avoiding tokenistic acknowledgment, and thus engages in acknowledgment with the children when they are out on Country. The educators and children acknowledge the 5 local First Nations groups, thank elders past and present, and also acknowledge the future elders – the Indigenous children who attend the centre. Finally, the children all put their hands on the land and share what they are thankful for. Julia and Deanna at Rockhampton South Kindergarten similarly take time each day to acknowledge Country and discuss how they and the children might care for “our land, our people, our sea, and our sky”.