Traditional Owner groups will play an important role in Victorian game management and caring for Country under a new strategy developed with the Andrews Labor Government.
Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas was welcomed to Dja Dja Wurrung Country today at the Tang Tang Swamp north of Bendigo to launch the Traditional Owner Game Management Strategy.
The strategy will see Aboriginal community members get more involved in land, water, wildlife and cultural heritage management of wetlands and game reserves.
It will increase job and economic opportunities on Country, encourage Traditional Owner-led knowledge and practice within game management and promote greater recognition and respect for Country.
The Tang Tang Swamp is a pilot project of the strategy to heal and manage Country through Traditional Owner knowledge and practice. The Dja Dja Wurrung community are leading the repair of this land, which includes replanting native vegetation along with restoring cultural water and fire regimes.
Hunting and wildlife management are a way of life and expression of identity for Traditional Owners who are continuing the important cultural practices of their ancestors, which recognises the spiritual significance of some game species.
The Strategy’s development was led by the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations through the Government’s Sustainable Hunting Action Plan. Implementation of the strategy will be a key action under the second Sustainable Hunting Action Plan that is currently being developed.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas
“I see the new Game Management Strategy as the beginning of an enduring partnership with our Traditional Owners based on education, recognition, respect and building knowledge to heal and care for Country.”
“I look forward to seeing this work continue and be implemented with the help of the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations through the second Sustainable Hunting Action Plan.”
Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan
“It’s really important that Traditional Owners have a say in the care of the land. This Strategy will help a strong system of knowledge-sharing and respect to grow between the Government and the Federation.”
Quote attributable to Traditional Owner Game Management Strategy Project Control Group Chair Rodney Carter
“Hunting, as an experience, is very important to us as a way to stay connected to Country, to put Traditional Ecological Knowledge into practice, and to honour our reliance on Culture and Country for our sustenance.”
Quote attributable to Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations CEO Paul Paton
“It was really great to Welcome Minister Thomas to such a significant site to the Dja Dja Wurrung people and a site which is so emblematic of both the challenges and the opportunities ahead for Traditional Owners.”
Reviewed 11 March 2021