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Traditional Aboriginal welcome

Welcome to country from Associate Professor Simon Forrest

A welcome to country ceremony is a traditional Aboriginal blessing, symbolising the traditional owners’ consent to an event taking place on their land. Curtin acknowledges the Nyungar people as the traditional owners of the land on which our main campus is sited and a welcome to country is performed at all major Curtin public events.

[Nyungar] Kaya ngarn kwerl Simon Forrest Burungu.

Hello my name is Simon Forrest and I’m a Wadjuk Nyungar man and I’m here today to perform a Welcome to Country.

In the days before the Swan River Colony, Nyungars would get permission to cross another person’s territory.

These days elders from particular places do Welcomes to Country, to welcome strangers or visitors to this particular place.

My welcome involves a smoking ceremony, and a smoking is about a cleansing, a purification of the place and people.

The smoking involves two elements, the waarn, or sandalwood, from my father’s country to the north.

And the birny, or the gum resin from the balga or grass tree.

This is my mother’s country, my mother’s maternal country.

[Nyungar] Kaya wanju Wadjuk Nyungar boodja, nidja, nidja

[Nyungar] Wadjuk Nyungar boodja. Nidja ngark ngark manyoowa manyoowa Nyungar boodja.

This place is a Nyungar place.

[Nyungar] Nidja Kaatagurup nidja Maatagurup nidja Derbal Yerrigan nidja Boorloo.

May the marr, or wind, spread this koorl or smoke to bring the djindjin or good spirits to this place.

[Nyungar] Kaya wanju Wadjuk Nyungar boodjar.