Jointly Managed Parks & Reserves

The partnership between the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC), on behalf of the Gunaikurnai people, and the Victorian Government to jointly manage ten parks and reserves in Gippsland represents an exciting way to manage wurruk (country).

These environments including the forest, rivers, beaches, plants and animals are all part of ‘Country’ and the cultural identity of the Gunaikurnai. They are valued for the environment and as a vital part of contemporary Aboriginal culture. Protecting, managing and enjoying the land are an important part of this connection and responsibility.

The term Joint management is used to describe a formal partnership arrangement between Traditional Owners and the State where both share their knowledge to manage specific national parks and other protected areas.

It aims to bring together the combined skills, expertise and cultural knowledge of the Gunaikurnai people and the Victorian Government in the management of these parks and reserves in a way that respects and values the culture and traditions of the traditional owners.

Joint management recognises the ongoing connection of Traditional Owners to the land. It involves Traditional Owners and park staff sharing their knowledge to manage specific areas.

This settlement agreement is a first for Victoria and recognises Gunaikurnai people’s strong connections and understanding of the land and waterways over thousands of years. Joint Management will ensure the Gunaikurnai play a central role in managing these parks in the future.