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Why are Indigenous protocols important for everyone?

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Observing the cultural protocols of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is an important step toward understanding and respecting the Traditional Owners of the land we all live on.

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.  

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.”

By observing cultural protocolswe acknowledge the unbroken connection our First Australians have with the land and their ancient practices, says Rhoda Roberts, SBS’ Elder in Residence. 

“We’ve continued oral stories, protocols and rituals for eons. And while things do adjust – we’re not a static people – the whole premise and philosophy of who we are is caring for Country which is our land, our sea and our waterways and sky.”

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