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

Welcomes to Country ceremonies are conducted as a sign of respect for the traditional custodians of a particular region or area. The ACT Government recognises the Ngunnawal people as the traditional custodians of the ACT and surrounding areas.

To arrange a Welcome to Country for your event you could speak to the following Ngunnawal Elders to seek their assistance.

ACT & Queanbeyan

  • Mr Wally Bell - 0419 425 347
  • Mr Carl Brown - 0414 283 216
  • Ms Roslyn Brown - 0404 609 268
  • Mr Warren Daley - 0422 267 547
  • Mr Fred Monaghan - 0409 399 623
  • Mrs Jannette Phillips - 0455 893 837
  • Mrs Agnes Shea - 0405 725 314 (m)
  • Ms Violet Sheridan - 0467 257 217
  • Mr William Tompkins “Billy T” – 0499 049 913


  • Mrs Josephine Ingram - (02) 6342 4817


  • Mrs Loretta Halloran - (02) 6947 4002


  • Mrs Helen Wallace - 0437 877 213

This directorate’s involvement in Welcome to Country requests is only to provide you with contact details for the Ngunnawal Elders and /or alternates family representation that have been endorsed through the United Ngunnawal Elders Council. You will now need to liaise directly with them for all your arrangements. If you cannot arrange for a Ngunnawal Elder to attend your event, or if your event is considered too small to warrant a formal Welcome to Country, you can make the following acknowledgement:

‘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.’

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 event.

Indigenous Protocols