In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)

In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)
ACT Public Hospitals

Canberra Hospital

5124 0000


Calvary Hospital

6201 6111

Mental Health

Call Mental Health Triage on

1800 629 354

(free call except from mobiles or public phones) or

6205 1065

Poisons Hotline

For a poison emergency in Australia call

131126

Drug and Alcohol Help Line

The Drug and Alcohol Help Line is available 24-hours, 7 days a week on

5124 9977

Health Protection Service

For after hours urgent public health matters including environmental health, radiation safety, food poisoning and communicable disease management phone:

(02) 6205 1700

healthdirect

24 hour health advice

1800 022 222

ACT State Emergency Service

Emergency help
during flood or storms

132 500

Welcome to Country


A Welcome to Country is where an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander custodian from the local area or region welcomes people to their land. This may be done through speech, song, dance or ceremony and has been part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander protocol for thousands of years.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander protocols or customs in relation to Welcome to Country are diverse and will vary from region to region.

Organising a Welcome to Country for your event shows respect for the traditional custodians of a particular region or area.

The ACT Government acknowledges the Ngunnawal people as the traditional custodians of the ACT and surrounding areas.

The ACT government encourages organisations and departments to invite a Traditional Custodian to do a ‘Welcome to Country’ at the opening of a meeting, launch, special event or official function.

How to organise a 'Welcome to Country' in the ACT

How to organise a 'Welcome to Country' in the ACT

For further questions please contact the ACT Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs on (02) 6207 9784 or by email on oatsia@act.gov.au.

It is important that event organisers allow enough time to discuss with traditional custodians what form of Welcome to Country will be undertaken at an event and if any particular protocols or customs need to be observed by those in attendance.

If you cannot arrange for a Traditional Custodian to attend your event, or if your event is considered too small to warrant a formal Welcome to Country, you can make the following acknowledgment:

‘I/We wish to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land we are meeting on, the Ngunnawal people. I/We wish to acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region. I/We would also like to acknowledge and welcome other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may be attending today’s event.’

Disclaimer: The ACT Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs does not accept responsibility for, nor is liable for, any arrangements or financial agreements entered into by parties in relation to 'Welcome to Country' events.