Managing Country Together With Traditional Owners

29 May 2020

The Victorian Government has announced a major funding boost to improve management of Victoria’s parks, reserves and natural resources, working in partnership with Traditional Owners.

Working with both the Gurnaikurnai people and the Yorta Yorta people, the Government will invest $7.5 million to deliver joint management plans across 10 parks and reserves in Gippsland, as well as the Barmah National Park.

This investment will improve tracks and roads, cultural, camping and boating facilities, and reduce impacts on cultural heritage and the environment across these parks and reserves.

It will also support training and knowledge sharing with Traditional Owners, cultural fire management practices, employing Indigenous rangers, managing invasive animals and plants, and responding to climate change.

The return of traditional burns under this Government, in partnership with local Aboriginal communities was a historic moment for our state. Since 2017, there have been more than a dozen cultural burns in Victoria led by Traditional Owners, supported by Forest Fire Management Victoria.

This is a part of the Government’s work to advance self-determination for Aboriginal Victorians through generating economic, social and environmental benefits of Traditional Owners and all Victorians.

A new Cultural Burning Knowledge HubExternal Link has also been launched, to bring together useful resources and research has been developed as a joint initiative between Traditional Owners, Forest Fire Management Victoria, Parks Victoria, CFA and the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owners Corporations.

These plans create new jobs for Traditional Owners on Country and help develop longer-term employment opportunities in Victorian Aboriginal communities and for related service industries.

Joint management plans also provide the opportunity to improve community and visitor experiences through opportunities to learn about Aboriginal culture, heritage and traditional land management practices.

Joint management plans are underpinned by the values and knowledge held by our Traditional Owners. The plans will incorporate Aboriginal values, knowledge and practices to return the health of Country.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio

“By working side-by-side with Traditional Owners, we are ensuring Victoria’s much-loved national parks are protected and managed in a sustainable way.”

“It’s so important we work closely with Victorian Traditional Owners to make sure Aboriginal culture and knowledge informs the way the land is cared for.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gabrielle Williams

“Joint management plans are a win-win for our community – it not only advances self-determination but creates local jobs and boosts tourism.”

“Traditional knowledge is crucial to ensuring we protect and make the most of our natural resources.”

Reviewed 14 August 2020

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