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‘Welcome to Country’ App Teaches Users About Aboriginal Culture in Australia

A new app that delivers a “Welcome to Country” video introduction when users cross a tribal boundary in Australia has been launched.

 

In the short videos a traditional owner (or elder) welcomes the user to their country and gives an overview of basic cultural protocols specific to the tribal area.

The app was created by Aboriginal company Weerianna Street Media with the intent of educating people on the Traditional Owners’ culture and heritage protocols right across the Australia. It uses GPS data from the device to work where the users are in relation to the country they are entering.

While the traditional practices of acknowledging the custodians and seeking permission to enter or use resources from the land and sea have always been in place in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies, this practice has only started to emerge as a growing convention in modern Australian society recently, according to USC (University of Sunshine Coast)).

Smooth Barked Coolibah trees along dry river Pilbara in Western Australia

The app currently contains more than 30 tribes and language groups across Indigenous Australia Photo: Alamy

 

Cultural practice is to acknowledge traditional custodianship of the land at the commencement of functions, meetings and presentations of government departments and various organisations.

This acknowledgement provides an increasing awareness and recognition of Australia’s Indigenous peoples and cultures.

The app is launched at a time when Aboriginal issues have gained prominence on Australian, and worldwide, media after the Adam Goodes controversy.

The Aboriginal AFL (Australian Football League) player has been booed at matches for weeks after he celebrated a goal with an Indigenous war dance during a match in May.

The first version of the Welcome to Country app contains more than 30 tribes and language groups, of over 500 groups, across Indigenous Australia.

Weerianna Street Media (WSM) owner Tyson Mowarin told First Nations Telegraph he was inspired to create the app after he realised former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd could speak Mandarin but was not able to use the first languages of his own country.

In more recent times current Prime Minister Tony Abbott has caused controversy for claiming that Aborigines who live in remote communities were making a “lifestyle choice.” Mr Abbott has also declared himself the prime minister for indigenous affairs and last year spent a week governing the nation from a tent at a remote community.

Mr Mowarin, of the Ngarluma people, said “I wanted to teach people how to speak the languages and acknowledge all our different nations.”

This article originally appears at:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/11824895/Welcome-to-Country-app-teaches-users-about-Aboriginal-culture-in-Australia.html
Article taken from the following publication:
The Telegraph
Article submitted by:
Author:
Chiara Palazzo

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