Acknowledging traditional owners
The QTU has offices across Queensland, and acknowledges the traditional owners of the land on which these offices stand. It also encourages all of its branches and committees to acknowledge the traditional owners of the areas in which they meet.
The Union suggests that members use one of the following when starting a meeting.
“In opening this [name of meeting] we acknowledge the original people on whose land this meeting takes place and pay our respects to the traditional owners, the [name of the group] people.”
“We acknowledge the traditional custodians, the [name of the group] people, and pay our respects to the Elders past, present and future, for they hold the memories, the traditions, the culture and hopes of Indigenous Australia. We must always remember that under the concrete and asphalt, the land, sea, and waterways were, and always will be, traditional Indigenous land.”
Why we do it
The QTU encourages all of its branches and committees to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land.
This acknowledgement recognises the unique position of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people in Australian culture, history, and as the original owners of the land.
It is important this unique position is recognised and incorporated into official protocol to enable the wider community to share in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and facilitate better relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples, and the wider community.
In the QTU
Gandu Jarjum is the QTU’s committee for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members. It reviews relevant QTU policies and provides feedback and suggestions.
There is a designated position on QTU Executive, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members are prioritised on QTU committees.
The QTU was one of the first education unions to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan.
The QTU’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Educators Network gives members information on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education and current issues.
Our vision for reconciliation is for a society that respects, protects and promotes the rights of all, and in which Aboriginal peoples, Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians live and work together with mutual respect and understanding, free from discrimination and harassment.
As the union for Queensland public school and TAFE teachers and school leaders, we recognise the unique role our schools and educational institutions have in achieving this vision.