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New app reveals local indigenous history of Australia

Sarah is a lifestyle writer and travel blogger who can often be found loitering in a cafe with a pot of tea and a good book. Over the last eight years Sarah has lived and worked abroad in the United Kingdom, Spain and Colombia and has tr...

Find out the indigenous history of your suburb using the Welcome to Country app

From SheKnows Australia

An app has been created to educate people about the local history of Indigenous Australia and the traditional owners of the land.

More than 500 nations existed in Australia prior to colonisation and the app, called Welcome to Country, was created to show people the cultural significance of different areas.

More: 6 kids' books about indigenous culture that your child should read

The app was created by Tyson Mowarin from production company Weerianna Street Media, who wanted to educate others about the country's diverse historical and cultural backgrounds.

"The aim is to get Welcome to Country out there so Australians are acknowledging the 500 nations that existed here before settlement," Mowarin told Mashable. "It would be good if any kid in any school could tell you whose country they live on."

Find out the indigenous history of your suburb using the Welcome to Country app
Image: Welcome to Country

Using GPS tracking the user can log into the app and be welcomed to country with a video from a local elder.

Welcome to Country is a formal acknowledgment of the traditional owners of the land which is commonly expressed at the opening of events and ceremonies.

A local Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander from the area will welcome people to their land and this will often be accompanied by a speech or dance. This has been a crucial part of local tradition for thousands of years.

But now that Welcome to Country can be accessed from your own smartphone.

Video: Welcome to Country/YouTube

More: Australia Day or Invasion Day: How should we commemorate the day?

The app features a series of videos which include Information about the local area shared by elders from that region. They also share information about local flora and fauna and their language.

Today there are approximately only 2.4 per cent of indigenous Australians. And as the population declines, so too will important knowledge and ancient languages.

While there were once 500 indigenous nations and a similar amount of languages, there are now fewer that 200 indigenous languages in Australia and 20 are in danger of being lost completely.

The app has become an important storytelling and preservation tool and a way to educate people about the ancient culture of Australia's first people.

More: 8 indigenous artists who should be on your playlist

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