In March 2013 the Victorian Government and the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation (DDWCAC), on behalf of the Dja Dja Wurrung traditional owner group, entered into a Recognition and Settlement Agreement under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 which recognises the Dja Dja Wurrung as the Traditional Owner group of approximately 266,532 hectares of public land in Central Victoria. The agreement settles four native title claims in the Federal Court dating back to 1998.
Find out more about agreements under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010.
Components of the Recognition and Settlement Agreement
The Dja Dja Wurrung settlement agreement relates to Crown lands and waters only within the external boundaries of the agreement area Any existing interest, such as licences over Crown Land, are unaffected by the Agreement. Similarly the Agreement does not affect freehold land. The Dja Dja Wurrung Recognition and Settlement Agreement includes:
- The granting of Aboriginal title over two national parks, one regional park, two state parks and one reserve to the Dja Dja Wurrung, to be jointly managed with the State
- The transfer of two freehold properties of cultural significance at Carisbrook and Franklinford
- Funding to enable the Dja Dja Wurrung Corporation to meets its settlement obligations and 'seed capital' to enable economic development opportunities
- Rights for Dja Dja Wurrung people to hunt, fish and gather, in accordance with the terms and conditions specified in the 'Authorisation Orders' and where rules and regulations apply governing recreational access by the public
- A Land Use Activity Agreement which will provide the Corporation with an opportunity to provide input or give their agreement to certain activities taking place on Crown Land
Find out more about the Dja Dja Wurrung settlement
Dhelkunya Dja Land Management Board
As part of the Recognition and Settlement Agreement, the State entered into a Traditional Owner Land Management Agreement (TOLMA). This agreement establishes the Dhelkunya Dja Land Management Board to jointly manage six parks and reserves in the agreement area.
Find out more about joint management.
The State and the Gunaikurnai people entered an agreement in October 2010 which formally recognises the Gunaikurnai people as the Traditional Owners of an area in Gippsland in Victoria's east and recognises that the Gunaikurnai hold native title over areas of Crown land in that region.
The Gunaikurnai Settlement Agreement was the first agreement to be reached under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act (2010) and which settled a native title claim dating back to 1998. The settlement included:
- Orders by the Federal Court recognising that the Gunaikurnai people hold native title in the settlement area.
- An agreement for some national parks and reserves to be granted as Aboriginal title to the Gunaikurnai to be jointly managed with the State.
- Rights for Gunaikurnai people to access and use Crown land for traditional purposes, including hunting, fishing, camping and gathering in accordance with existing laws.
- Funding for the Gunaikurnai to manage their affairs, including responding to their obligations under the settlement.
Gunaikurnai Traditional Owner Land Management Board
As part of the Gunaikurnai settlement agreement, the State entered into a Traditional Owner Land Management Agreement. This agreement establishes the Gunaikurnai Traditional Owner Land Management Board to jointly manage ten national parks and reserves in the agreement area.
Find out more about the Gunaikurnai Settlement Agreement on the Department of Justice and Regulations website.
In 2007 the State entered into a native title settlement agreement with the Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation (GMTOAC), the representative body for the Gunditjmara People. The settlement was linked to the Federal Court's recognition that the Gunditjmara People hold native title.
As part of the settlement, the State entered into a Co-operative Management Agreement covering Budj Bim National Park in South West Victoria. The agreement establishes the Budj Bim Council, a land management council which provides advice and makes recommendations to the Minister for Environment and Climate Change about the management of Budj Bim National Park.
As part of the settlement, the State also agreed to the freehold transfer of Lake Condah to GMTOAC.
A Recognition and Settlement Agreement between the Victorian Government and Taungurung Land and Waters Council Aboriginal Corporation and Taungurung Traditional Owner group commenced on 11 August 2020.
This is the third settlement agreement in Victoria under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010, after the Gunaikurnai and Dja Dja Wurrung settlement agreements.
Settlement agreements recognise:
- a Traditional Owner group based on their traditional and cultural associations to land
- Traditional Owner rights in relation to access, ownership, management and decision making in relation to public land and natural resource management on public land.
Taungurung’s settlement agreement provides for, among other things:
- Protocols for Acknowledgements and Welcomes to Country
- Recognises the Taungurung Peoples special association to the Goulburn River
- Aboriginal title and joint management of nine parks and reserves in Taungurung Country.
The Taungurung settlement agreement includes a number of sub-agreements, these are:
- Land Use Activity Agreement
- Natural Resource Agreement
- Land Agreement
- Traditional Owner Land Management Agreement.
Find out more about the Taungurung Recognition and Settlement Agreement
Find out more about Traditional Owner Settlement Agreements
In 2005, the State entered into a native title settlement agreement with the Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation (BGLCAC).
The BGLCAC is the representative body for the Traditional Owners making up the claim including the Wotjobaluk, Jaadwa, Jadawadjali, Wergaia and Yupagalk People (also known as the Wimmera groups). The settlement was linked to the Federal Court's recognition that the Wimmera groups hold native title.
The settlement agreement included a Co-operative Management Agreement which applies to certain areas of Crown land in Western Victoria where non-exclusive native title rights were determined to exist, including parts of the Little Desert National Park.
The settlement agreement establishes the Winyula Council, a body which provides advice and makes recommendations to the Minister for Environment and Climate Change about the Crown land identified in the Co-operative Agreement. The Winyula Council has not operated for some time, but the State and BGLCAC implement the objectives of this agreement via direct engagement between BGLCAC, Parks Victoria and DELWP.
In June 2004, the State and the Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation entered into a Co-operative Management Agreement. This agreement recognises Yorta Yorta people as Traditional Owners and acknowledges their unique and inherent connection to, and responsibly for, Country.
The Co-operative Management Agreement formalised the involvement of Yorta Yorta people in decision making relating to the protection, maintenance and sustainability of certain public land defined in the agreement, referred to as Designated Areas.
The Yorta Yorta Designated Areas include the Lower Goulburn National Park, Echuca Regional Park, Shepparton Regional Park, Gemmill Swamp Wildlife Reserve, Arcadia Streamside Reserve, Kanyapella Wildlife Reserve, Loch Garry Wildlife Area and other areas of public land within the region. It also includes Kow (Ghow) Swamp which is of high cultural significance to Yorta Yorta people.
In October 2010, the State agreed to jointly manage Barmah National Park with the Yorta Yorta people. Barmah National Park, located in Victoria’s north, comprises 28,500 hectares of public land (over four and a half thousand Melbourne Cricket Grounds) and contains one of Australia’s largest River Red Gum Forests.
The joint management arrangement is established under a Traditional Owner Land Management Agreement which also sets up the Yorta Yorta Traditional Owner Land Management Board (TOLMB). The Board’s objective is for Yorta Yorta people’s knowledge and culture to be recognised and embedded in the management of Barmah National Park. This is achieved via preparing and implementing a joint management plan.
In April 2020, the Barmah National Park Joint Management Plan, prepared by the Yorta Yorta Traditional Owner Land Management Board, was publicly released. The plan guides the strategic management of Barmah National Park over the next 10 years.
Page last updated: 16/03/21