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Welcome Toolkit

This online tool kit has been developed by the State Library of Queensland to assist public libraries create a welcoming environment, provide information and develop services for Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples in their communities.

Culture, Heritage and Leisure

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Here you will find protocols and plans for communicating and working effectively with your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

ATSILIRN: Protocols for Libraries, Archives and Information Services: The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Library, Information and Resource Network Inc. (ATSILIRN) Protocols is a guide specifically for libraries, archives and information services for interacting appropriately with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the communities which the organisations serve, and in handling materials with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content.

Australia Council: Protocols for producing Australian Indigenous writing: In this document the Australia Council for the Arts provides a starting point and framework for people working in the Indigenous arts sector, for example, when working with Indigenous writers, or using Indigenous cultural material.

Oxfam Australia: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Protocols: This Oxfam Australia document outlines protocols for ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural and intellectual property rights are protected, and may assist in improving working relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Islander peoples.

Queensland Government: mina mir lo ailan mun – proper communication with Torres Strait Islander people: The Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships (DATSIP) provides a downloadable guide to consultation with Queensland Torres Strait Islander individuals, groups and communities in urban, rural and remote settings.

Queensland Government: Protocols for consultation and negotiation with Aboriginal people: The Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships (DATSIP) provides a downloadable guide to consultation with Queensland Aboriginal individuals, groups and communities in urban, rural and remote settings.

Queensland Health: Guidelines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Terminology: This document from Queensland Health provides guidance on appropriate terminology when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities, particularly in regards to written communications.

Queensland Studies Authority : Welcome to Country and Acknowledgment of Country: This document from Queensland Studies Authority outlines protocol for Welcome to Country and Acknowledgment of Country.

Reconciliation Australia: Respectful Relationships: This chapter of the Reconciliation Australia website provides ways of building successful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the broader Australian community, encompassing tips and advice around the four principles of building relationships, showing respect, working partnerships and cultural awareness.

State Library of Queensland: Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan 2015-18: Our third Reconciliation Action Plan is where we build on our commitment to reconciliation through the framework of stronger relationships, increasing  greater mutual respect nd awareness, an continuing to provide opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This also links to State Library's new Reconciliation video.

Torres Strait Regional Authority Cultural Protocols Guide: The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) has prepared this document for staff engaging with each of the 20 distinct communities in the Torres Strait region, acknowledging each community's unique history and culture.

Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country: This is a free, easy to access, etraining resourse. There is an option to create a free account and obtain a certificate on completion of the course. Modules include: the difference between a Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country?; Why is it important to perform a Welcome to Country or Acknowledgement of Country?; What words do you use in a Welcome to Country or Acknowledgement of Country?; Helping young children to appreciate Acknowledgement of Country; Sharing stories of Acknowledgement of Country in early childhood services; and Acknowledging Australia's diverse communities.

Here you will find links to resources that provide the background to important events, celebrations and issues in the lives of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders. These resources can help you plan events for significant days or be aware of important anniversaries in your community.

Australian Government: The history of NAIDOC: This document, produced by the Australian government, provides a timeline of significant events and dates that have led up to what is now known as NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) week.

National Apology: The Australian Government website hosts a transcript as well as audio, sign language and video versions of then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's Apology to Australia's Indigenous Peoples on February 13 2008.

Responses to the Apology - Queensland Identities:

Queensland Museum: Coming of the Light - Torres Strait Islands: This Queensland Museum page shares information about the origins of and types of activities related to the Coming of the Light festival, celebrated annually in the Torres Strait on July 1 each year.

Reconciliation Australia: National Sorry Day: This page of Reconciliation Australia's website provides a selection of resources assisting in the commemoration of the anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generations including fact sheets, quotes and stories about the impact of the Apology from members of the Stolen Generations and other Australians.

Reconciliation Australia: Reconciliation Week: This page of Reconciliation Australia's website provides information about the significance of Reconciliation Week, resources to help communities and organisations plan their own Reconciliation Week events, and information about Ambassadors.

SNAICC: Children's Activities: SNAICC - National Voice for our Children has developed children's activities to strengthen their connection with culture. The family kinship tree can be used to complement a family history search.  Libraries can use resources like these and others on SNAICC's website to celebrate annual Indigenous events such as National Aboriginal and Islander Children's Day on 4 August or NAIDOC week in July.

University of Southern Queensland: Indigenous Community Dates: This University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Centre for Australian Indigenous Knowledge web page hosts a summary of significant dates observed annually by Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

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In this section you'll find introductory information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

ABC Dust Echoes – Animated Dreamtime Stories: The ABC website hosts a series of twelve animated dreamtime stories from Central Arnhem Land, which share aspects of Aboriginal custom and law, previously screened at the Melbourne International Film Festival.

Reconciliation Australia: Our Culture: This chapter of the Reconciliation Australia website considers what culture means to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people today and explores how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures have adapted since 1788.

State Library of Queensland: Cape Treasures animations: This State Library web page shares animated stories made by Elders and children in the Cape York communities of Pormpuraaw, Injinoo, Lockhart River and Wujal Wujal, with some of the stories told in language.

State Library of Queensland: Teachers notes from Strait Home:  A State Library of Queensland teacher's resource containing information about Torres Strait Islander peoples' history, geography, culture and identity, as well as information about significant collections of materials within the Library.

Family, Kinship and Community

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Family and family trees are a very important part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and libraries are the perfect place to offer a starting point for family history services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Often people can be unaware of the types of records that were created about them, their families and communities, as well as the impacts of legislation which affected Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The following links will give you a start in the area and an awareness of the issues.

AIATSIS: The Family History kit: This Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) web page hosts a kit for getting started with family history research, a Biographical Index for searching family names, as well as a fact sheet on Proof or Confirmation of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage.

DATSIP: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family History: This Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships (DATSIP) web page suggests links and starting points for beginning family history research, including contact details for the Department's Community and Personal Histories Team.

Link-Up Queensland Aboriginal Corporation: This organisation's website outlines the range of services available to individuals, families or communities who have been affected by past Australian Government removal policies or practices including family history research, counselling, referrals to other agencies and information about eligibility.

Museum of South Australia: Tindale Map: This South Australian Museum web page provides links to Norman Tindale's alphabetical list of Australian Aboriginal language groups, published in 1974 and Tindale's boundary map distinguishing the areas belonging to each language group.

State Library of Queensland: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family history: This State Library of Queensland web page provides a range of resources for researching family history including a step-by-step guide to beginning the research, and links to relevant collections including the Norman Tindale Genealogical Collection and the Margaret Lawrie collection.

State Library of Queensland: Family History Resources: This State Library of Queensland web page provides information about accessing our Family History services as well as links to electronic resources and websites for genealogical research, in addition to frequently asked questions in this area.

State Library of Queensland: Margaret Lawrie Collection (Torres Strait Islander genealogies): This State Library of Queensland web page provides a summary of materials and genealogies collected by Margaret Lawrie over 17 Torres Strait Island communities, works by Margaret Lawrie and information about accessing the collection.

State Library of Queensland: Tindale Genealogical Collection (Aboriginal Genealogies): This State Library web page provides a summary of cultural material collected by anthropologist Norman Tindale, links to the collection access conditions and a specially developed index of names recorded in the genealogies, as well as links to images of works from the recent Transforming Tindale exhibition.

Language Resources

Libraries can support communities in the revival, documentation and preservation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages or help local communities learn more about their regional languages and place names.

ABC: Indigenous Languages Map: This interactive map, hosted by ABC online, is a representation of larger groupings of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia, created by David R. Horton for Aboriginal Studies Press, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).

AUSLIT: Blackwords Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Storytellers: This Auslit database contains a range of records of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander publications from creative writing through to works for film and television, criticism and scholarly articles.

Our Languages: This website, funded by the Australian Government provides a forum where Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples can learn about and share their languages, as well as discover methods for preserving languages, find examples of programs and projects and source relevant resources.

State Library of Queensland: Indigenous Languages Strategy: This document outlines State Library of Queensland's commitment to, responsibilities for and strategies towards the preservation and maintenance of Queensland's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.

State Library of Queensland: Language Resources: The State Library of Queensland has compiled a range of languages resources at this web page including links to digital collections, information sheets, guides and wordlists, to support communities in the revival, documentation and preservation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.

Yugambeh App: This free language app features seven Queensland Aboriginal languages, as well as ‘how to say g’day’ in 50+ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. Along with the existing Yugambeh language of Beenleigh/Logan, the additional  languages include Kabi Kabi (Sunshine Coast); Wakka Wakka (Burnett); Yugarabul (Brisbane Region); Jandai (Stradbroke Island); Gunggari (Mitchell/South-West Queensland); and Gudang (Cape York).  The Yugambeh Language App is a free download available for PC, Android and iOS.

Say g'day campaign

In Queensland there are over 100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and dialects; today only about 30 are spoken on a daily basis. To help raise awareness and promote Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, libraries, schools, organisations, communities and individuals are invited to learn how to say “g’day” or “hello” in their local Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language and use it during NAIDOC Week (6-13 July 2014) and beyond. State Library of Queensland, in partnership with Yugambeh Museum Language and Heritage Research Centre, language centres and other community language groups developed the “Say g’day in an Indigenous Language” initiative for NAIDOC Week 2014.

About Say g'day: This SLQ webpage lists some greeting words or phrases from a range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages across Queensland.

Word lists: This SLQ webpage shares words lists ranging from greetings to animal names and is aimed at providing libraries, language centres, community organisations and community members with some practical ideas to support Say g’day in an Indigenous language.

Activities for Young People

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You'll find lots of themed fun here either as an activity or part of a program. All worksheets are reproducible for public libraries for use in library programs.

Better Beginnings: State Library of Western Australia: This chapter of the State Library of Western Australia website provides information about the Better Beginnings early literacy initiative and includes a suggested booklist, activities and links to resource packs distributed to Aboriginal communities.

Children First: Early Words: This website provides information about early literacy, includes facts, book lists, storytelling videos and other resources selected for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and children.

SNAICC: Children's Activity Kit 2007: The Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) have developed these art activities for children to assist organisations in celebrating National Aboriginal and Islander Children's Day.

State Library of Queensland: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Colouring in book: This booklet, created for State Library of Queensland by Indigenous artist Tania Schafer, contains animals and designs for children to colour-in, and may be reproduced for non-profitable purposes.

State Library of Queensland: Corner Toolkit – Strait Home: The State Library of Queensland provides the background to the cultural precinct's celebration of Torres Strait Islander culture with Strait Home, and links to Strait Home themed activities for children and young people.

State Library of Queensland: Storytelling Kits: This State Library of Queensland document contains information about Storytelling Kits and photos of Indigenous Storytelling kits available for loan and includes ordering and contact details.

State Library of Queensland: Torres Strait Island Time Turtle book: This State Library of Queensland booklet contains activities for children based around Torres Strait Islander culture, language and knowledge and may be reproduced for non-profitable purposes.

Making Connections

Want to know more or talk to others who are working in the area? These links will help connect you with networks, arts workers and events in areas of interest for Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders.

Arts Queensland Indigenous Arts Regional Development Fund: This Arts Queensland web page provides an overview of Indigenous Arts Regional Development Funding and links to information about past recipients and public art funding.

DATSIP homepage: The Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships (DATSIP) website contains information about current and upcoming events, programs and initiatives and grants and funding for eligible organisations, as well as hosting the deadly stories gallery.

Indigenous.gov.au: news, stories and information: This Australian Government website portal shares news, information and stories about events and projects all over Australia, features postcards by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander role models and provides information about the Closing the Gap initiatives across areas such as health, schooling, arts and culture and safe communities.

kuril dhagun events calendar: State Library of Queensland's flagship Indigenous Knowledge Centre (IKC), kuril dhagun, promotes a range daily events for the community on this web page.

Our Community: Funding Centre: This page of the Our Community website provides information and tips for preparing grant applications, as well as a database to search for funding opportunities.

If you have any further ideas for links, resources or stories to share, please get in touch.

Facts and Figures

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Here you'll find quick facts to support your activities.

Australian Bureau of Statistics: Topics @ a Glance - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples: This Australian Bureau of Statistics web page provides information to the public about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population counts based on census data, as well as population distribution and populations change statistics.

Australian Government: The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags 2013: The Australian Government National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) website provides a brief history of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags and explains the symbolism of the designs.

Queensland Government: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage: Queensland cultural heritage legislation requires land users to take all reasonable and practicable measures to ensure their activity does not harm Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage.

Queensland Government: Queensland Regional Profiles: This Queensland Government web page allows users to search for statistical reports and information on regions of interest and also provides links to publications, bulletins and maps.

Reconciliation Australia: Q and A fact sheets: This Reconciliation Australia web page features a fact sheet of the month and shares links to previously featured fact sheets on a range of topics such as Women of Influence, the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, and Wild Rivers Legislation.

The images featured in the State Library Welcome Toolkit were created by Brisbane based graphic designer Keisha Leon who was born in Mt. Isa and is of the Wangi and Kalkadoon tribes. Keisha drew on the motifs of land, sea, sky, flora and fauna as well as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags to design these works.
Last updated
25th September 2017