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Acknowledgment of Country & Your Ceremony.


Wanju to my blog.

I’ve travelled to many countries around the world and celebrated their First Nations people and acknowledged the richness it adds to their countries history and future, and yet didn’t fully understand the vibrance that our first nations people add to the tapestry of our Australian story – how bloody ignorant!!! Don’t get me wrong I am and will always still be learning more, I certainly don’t know all the things.

What I do know, is that I’m so grateful that we are picking up this momentum and celebrate the rich history of Australia this land we call home. I was privileged a few years ago to educate myself through a short course at Curtin University in relation the Noongar People, it was a wonderful insight into the traditional owners on the land I call home and the thriving society and rebuilding the rich culture they have held onto for thousands of years. Having a knowledge of country and ceremony is so useful and important to myself as a Celebrant in creating your wedding ceremony.

Your wedding ceremony inclusions are always your choice! I’m pleased to say that 99% of my couples want an Acknowledgement of Country to lead their ceremony and some even find it essential and critically important.

99% of my couples want an Acknowledgement of Country

Why it makes sense ?

An Acknowledgement of Country gives a sense of context – everyone is here for something special, something different to just your average day out; a very important ceremony in your life and for your loved ones to be a part of. It is rightfully becoming the norm at special occasions and within public life.

An Acknowledgement of Country can be big or it can just be a nod as a show of appreciation for Traditional Owners and the continuing connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to Country. It differs to a Welcome to Country which is performed by a local Aboriginal person, more often than not an elder. It adds a serene and beautiful sense of peace and modernity to your ceremony.

Weddings are a big deal! They tie you to traditions as old as time are a point in life to reflect upon. When we are ‘living in the moment’ of a wedding it’s often a time to be thinking gratefully and the place has often been chosen with a lot of thought! My couples will usually say ‘it just felt right’ we knew our people would feel comfortable here’ so whilst being grateful for where we live we can beautifully and naturally tie in an Acknowledgment of Country. I often do this when talking about the weather/season the environment we are in.. be it rolling hills, surrounded by trees, near water or down South. Or just the monumental nature of marriage and how its steeped in tradition now with your own modern twist.

It adds depth to a ceremony. And recognises your couples love story as a part of the bigger picture of our land.

Is it political?

I guess in some circumstances it still feels like a very political stance to have this at your very personal ceremony. I can assure you in your ceremony the Acknowledgment to Country is certainly more of a tribute and gratefulness to a culture that cultivated the place we are really bloody lucky to live! It gives a sense of the coming together of all Australians, indigenous or otherwise.

‘So just as the season of Djilba brings with it life and new beginnings as the earth warms up it is also the new beginning for you as a married couple if you are getting married in the months of August and September.’

Perhaps your getting married in Freo or Matilda Bay where…

‘Along the banks of the Derbarl Yerrigan/ Swan River or where you are standing many have stood before you for tens of thousands of years in ceremonies not too dissimilar to the modern day wedding as this spot right here historically was a meeting spot.’

Or maybe the emphasis for you and your celebration is having…

‘All your people together dancing and singing just as the Whadjuk people of the Noongar Nation have done on this land for thousands of years.’
‘…We are currently in the Noongar season of Birak. The warm weather is fully fledged. Afternoons and evenings are only cooled by what we over here in the West call the Freo doctor or as the sea breezes from the South West flood over us.
Traditionally this was burning time of the year for Noongar people. They would burn the country into a tapestry of varying colours and textures. So different from what we can see at this moment but also similar and it plays a part in the reason we are on this gorgeous roof top. It was especially chosen as the perfect combination of both new and old, the gorgeous tapestry of Perth is on full display…’

So let’s make a kick ass ceremony!!! Include an AMAZING, THOUGHTFUL & INSIGHTFUL Acknowledgment of Country and kick into your badass love story and get you hitched!

Carina is a Perth based Marriage Celebrant living in the beautiful Swan Valley. She focusses on fun relaxed, charismatic wedding ceremonies staying true to her naturally bubbly and vibrant personality. Get in touch with her via her blog or email.

0417 923 760

Perth, Western Australia

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