Respecting Our Culture (ROC) Notes


There may be places that are closed to visitors because of their cultural significance-heed advice if you are asked not to enter an area.

In some places it is culturally inappropriate to swim or fish in waterways, waterholes and/or sea country.

Some places can only be visited by men or women- please respect these protocols where they apply to non indigenous people.

When are in doubt about where you and cannot go it is good practice to ask first.

The possession and consumption of alcohol is restricted in some indigenous communities-these restrictions apply to non indigenous visitors.


If you are visiting an Aboriginal community, wait until you are invited to approach homes or groups of people.

Funerals and cultural ceremonies are times of special privacy- use extra sensitivity in communities at these times. Please note we may be limited or prevented from entering some areas or communities due to these events.


If you are talking to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander recognise that they may communicate differently to non-indigenous people- English may be a second or third language.

Access to specific cultural knowledge or stories may not be open to everyone - it is best to avoid direct questions about matters that could be sensitive unless invited to do so.

Dress etiquette applies when visiting some indigenous communities - if in doubt avoid wearing short skirts, short shorts or other revealing clothing.


Always ask before filming or taking photographs of a person, a group of people or cultural activities.

Photographing and filming some places and subjects is restricted for cultural reasons - please respect the important request from traditional owners.

If you intend to use your photographs in a publication or for other commercial purposes, you will need to seek copyright permission from the people featured in the photo.


Locally produced Aboriginal art and craftwork make an excellent memory of your visit to a place - if possible choose items designed and made by Aboriginal people. Look and ask for items that have a label of cultural authenticity.

Purchasing items from Aboriginal people through respected outlets helps to create economic support for people in communities where there may be limited employment opportunities.

Please do not remove rocks or other objects from Aboriginal land or waters without permission of traditional owners. Disturbing cultural sites is also prohibited by Australian law.