A South Australian council has become the first to abandon Acknowledgements to Country in meetings and official correspondence since the Voice to Parliament referendum was resoundly defeated.
Northern Areas Council, situated 200km north of Adelaide, recently voted to remove the official acknowledgment, a practice upheld for two years, citing the belief that Australia is "one country."
Mayor Sue Scarman defended the decision as a demonstration of democracy in action, though the motion faced opposition and was not unanimous.
The move aligns with a broader trend following the Voice referendum's failure and growing criticism that Welcome to Country ceremonies are overused in Australia.
This decision coincides with One Nation leader Pauline Hanson's call for a ban on Welcome to Country, asserting that Australians, including some Indigenous people, are weary of the rituals' constant repetition.
In contrast, in Western Australia, the Shire of Harvey covering a vast rural area rejected a bid to eliminate Indigenous Welcome to Country and Acknowledgment of Country ceremonies.
Despite the defeat of the Voice referendum, the council decided to review the practices rather than discard them, highlighting the need for unity and rejecting claims of tokenism.
Shire of Harvey President Michelle Campbell expressed satisfaction with the decision, acknowledging the distress caused by the debate and affirming the council's commitment to work with the Indigenous community on policy review.
The ongoing discussions reflect the broader national dialogue on the role and frequency of Indigenous acknowledgment ceremonies.