I had an opportunity to talk with Conrad Bauwens a Wakka Wakka man. Conrad is the Traditional Custodian on site at Gummingurru, a sacred site where boys become adults, & given totems and Law for their roles in society.


It is important for individuals to feel comfortable and empowered to ask questions, especially when it comes to learning about Indigenous cultures and traditions. Embracing diversity and recognising the multitude of perspectives and knowledge within Indigenous communities is essential. When seeking information about a specific area or community, it is important to reach out to the traditional owners of that land. These are the individuals who have traditional and cultural connections to the land, and they hold the knowledge and wisdom of their ancestors. By engaging with traditional owners and seeking their input and guidance, we can ensure a more accurate and respectful understanding of the local culture. It’s worth noting the distinction between an acknowledgement of country and a welcome to country. An acknowledgement of country can be performed by anyone, but a welcome to country is typically conducted by a traditional owner, of which we have already said Conrad is, the welcome to country is a formal protocol that involves inviting visitors onto the traditional land and sharing cultural knowledge and stories. It is always courteous and best practice to seek a traditional owner’s involvement to ensure authenticity and respect.

I sincerely thank Conrad for sharing his cultural insight with us.

Shared with permission.