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Why are Indigenous protocols important for all Australians?

An Indigenous performer participates in a smoking ceremony. Source: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Observing the cultural protocols of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is an important step towards understanding and respecting the First Australians and the land we all live on.

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Why are Indigenous protocols important for all Australians?
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Indigenous cultural protocols are based on ethical principles that shape our working and personal relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

It’s important to nurture these relationships because they are the First Australians. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have an intimate knowledge of the land and can teach us so much about caring for our environment.


Highlights

  • By observing cultural protocols, we acknowledge the unbroken connection our First Australians have with the land and their ancient practices.
  • The term ‘Indigenous Australian’ encompasses both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • SBS’ Elder in Residence Rhoda Roberts reminds us that the idea of the cultural protocol is universal and is essentially about acknowledging your fellow human being. 

Caroline Hughes is a Ngunnawal Elder of the ACT and region. As an Aboriginal Elder, she is held in high esteem for her deep cultural knowledge.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People are the First Nations People of this country, and we have belief systems and cultural etiquettes that go back since time began. That is very much still a part of our lives today in modern Australia.”

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