Using respectful and inclusive language and terminology is an essential component of reconciliation and strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider Australian community. The ways in which we speak about reconciliation are just as important as the ways in which we act towards it; language is itself active, and can impact on attitudes, understandings and relationships in a very real and active sense.
Given the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and identities across Australia, you should always seek advice from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in your local school or early learning service community regarding preferences and protocols around terminology use.
While they are guidelines only, below are some recommendations for using respectful and inclusive language and terminology. Please consider these guidelines, alongside guidance from your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, when preparing written messages such as your Vision for Reconciliation and Acknowledgement of Country statements, as well as in everyday communication.
Please remember that the above is a guide only, and should not replace the advice from your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.