Cultural Awareness

Savannah Guides Limited acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Australia. We also acknowledge that the dispossession of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from their lands, the dispersal and relocation of communities, the erosion of traditional customs and languages, and the removal of children from their families have resulted in the disconnection of generations of families from their traditional homelands, languages and culture.

Savannah Guides sees that it has a role to play in building awareness around these issues among its membership, broader network and the visitors that we connect with.  This includes creating more opportunities for Traditional Owners to tell their stories.

This page provides a range of resources to help you better understand the perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, some important truths about Australian history, and how together we can support Indigenous people and culture into the future.

Savannah Guides’ first Board included Aboriginal Ranger John Clark.  We have continued our strong history of Aboriginal engagement and respect including Individual and Enterprise Indigenous Members, development and training projects and many long-term friendships.  These have included various projects across Australia delivering training, developing operational and interpretive manuals, building marketing strategies and mainstream tourism engagement.

Savannah Guides Limited’s Indigenous Peoples Policy was developed in 2003 and Suggestions for Cultural Protocols in 2013.  We registered our support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart in 2018.

Some Links for Further Information:

Cultural Awareness Courses

Check with your local Traditional Owner group for locally oriented face-to-face programs. Several online courses are available:

Amnesty International: A Free learning package of three modules, each with a video and short quiz for Amnesty supporters. 

ANZ Bank: Free slide based 30 minute module with important foundation material about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. 

Centre For Cultural Competency Australia: Runs online courses from $49.50 (min 10)

SBS: Mobile app ($39.99) exploring cross-cultural communication, stereotypes and multiculturalism in the workplace, with over 60 videos and interactive activities. 

More Suggested Reading and Listening:

Bruce Pascoe & AIATSIS: The Little Red Yellow Black Book

Bruce Pascoe: Dark Emu and Dark Emu for Children

Bruce Pascoe: Convincing Ground

Henry Reynolds: Why Weren’t We Told?

Henry Reynolds: This Whispering in Our Hearts

Richard Trudgen: Why Warriors Lie Down and Die

Stan Grant: Talking to My Country

Tony Roberts: Frontier Justice – A History of the Gulf Country to 1900

Nonie Sharp: Stars of Tagai – The Torres Strait Islanders

Tom Griffiths: The Art of Time Travel

Marcia Langton: Welcome To Country: An Introduction to Our First Peoples for Young Australians

Billy Griffiths: Deep Time Dreaming

Nick Brodie: The Vandemonian War

Torres Strait Regional Authority Resources 

Traditional Knowledge of the Ngadjonji and Yidinji Rainforest People

ABC News: Watershed Moments in Indigenous History  

Henry Reynolds: The Conversation

The Guardian: The Killing Times 

ABC Radio National Podcasts: Rear Vision – In The Shadow of Terra Nullius 

Noel Pearson at Garma Festival on the Uluru Statement

Uluru Statement Support

Connecting Locally

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language groups and communities range from urban to rural to remote, with traditional and modern influences. Contact your local groups to understand their history and perspectives, and how you can build connections:

  • NAIDOC Week and National Reconciliation Week have celebrations around Australia.
  • Land Councils, Prescribed Body Corporates or other Indigenous Organisations such as Health or Legal Services are well connected in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Your Local Government will also have Traditional Owner community contacts.  A quick Google search and a phone call or two is usually all it takes to make the connection. 

Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement

Everywhere in Australia is the country of Traditional Owners.  Savannah Guides’ Field Schools and events feature a Welcome to Country from Traditional Owners.  We encourage all Australians to seek a local Welcome to Country for their events, and tourism operators to acknowledge Traditional Owners in their tour experiences.

Savannah Guides encourages you to continue to research and share information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, provide opportunities for them to tell their own stories and encourage reconciliation across Australia.  

We also welcome your thoughts on this web page and its references.