When world leaders were Welcomed to Country

When world leaders were Welcomed to Country

Indigenous Affairs
Thursday, 29 November 2018

Department of the Prime Minister & Cabinet

Young Torres Strait Islander child dances in traditional wear on a stage surrounded by adult dancers in the same red, white and yellow wear and grass skirts.

The 2-day G20 Summit in Buenos Aires commencing Friday 30 November is a chance for us to remember Australia’s honour in hosting the 2014 G20 Summit in Brisbane.

Held annually, the G20 Summit is the world’s premier international economic forum. Made up of 19 countries and the European Union, it ‘seeks to develop global policies to address today’s most pressing challenges’1.

Each summit begins with a ceremony to welcome the international leaders.

It was fitting that the 2014 summit commenced with a Welcome to Country ceremony, a tradition practiced for thousands of years where ‘Traditional Owners of a local area welcome visitors to their lands, and the lands of their ancestors.’2

In this case, the welcome to G20 leaders was not just to the Brisbane region, but to Australia, its land and sea. It was also a welcome on behalf of all Australians.

And as it was presented to so many of the world’s leaders, will be remembered in our nation’s history.

In 2014, the welcome to G20 leaders was arranged by Brisbane-born Stephen Page, the Artistic Director of Bangarra, Australia’s leading Indigenous performing arts company.

It included performances from Songwoman Maroochy Barambah, the Nunukul Yuggera Aboriginal Dance Troupe, the Malu Kiai Mura Buai Dance Troupe, and Bangarra.

The performance was also a celebration of First Nations’ culture, deserving a permanent and publicly available record. See for yourself!

Read more at Traditional Owners welcome G20 leaders to Australia and at the Welcome to Country media fact pack [PDF 120KB].

  1. https://www.g20.org/en/g20/what-is-the-g20
  2. http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/144017/20141118-1506/www.g20.org/news/traditional_owners_welcome_g20_leaders_australia.html