131 new residents were recently greeted by Jagera Traditional Custodians during a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony at the annual Welcome Day event at St John’s College within The University of Queensland.
Students were also officially admitted into the St John’s College community during a matriculation service, which was held in the College Chapel and officiated by The Rev’d Richard Browning from The Parish of Indooroopilly.
In his homily, The Rev’d Browning spoke about Brittany Higgins’ and Grace Tame’s recent National Press Club addresses, imploring students to appreciate the power of their words and back what they say with action.
“May you live out your words with integrity and courage,” The Rev’d Browning said.
“May beautiful, true words, live in you.”
“And the people around you and in your midst, just by being near you, benefit.”
The Welcome Day, which was held on Friday 11 February, was pivotal to introducing new students and families to the St John’s College community and to the local Jagera Traditional Custodians.
New St John’s College resident Torres Strait Islander man Aiden Wu commented on the importance of the Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony as ways to foster Reconciliation.
“It was great to see everyone was respectful of the ceremony and understood that this Jagera Country,” Mr Wu said.
“Being properly introduced to those local traditions is so important.”