The State currently has agreements with five Traditional Owner groups. These agreements have arisen out of, or complemented, native title determinations.

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.

Gunaikurnai Native Title Settlement Agreement map (PDF, 1.1 MB)

The Agreement

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.

The Victorian Government and the Yorta Yorta have entered into a Co-operative Management Agreement and Traditional Owner Land Management Agreement.

Yorta Yorta Co-operative Management Agreement

While the Yorta Yorta were found by the Federal Court not to meet the legal standard of native title under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) the State recognised that the Yorta Yorta have a connection to their Country. To acknowledge this, in 2004 the State entered into a Cooperative Management Agreement with the Yorta Yorta to facilitate greater cooperation between the Yorta Yorta and State in management of their Country.

The Yorta Yorta Co-operative Management Agreement was the first Victorian agreement reached outside the native title process and applies to designated areas of Crown land in Yorta Yorta country in north central Victoria. The State and the Yorta Yorta implement the objectives of this agreement via direct engagement between Yorta Yorta, Parks Victoria and DELWP.

Co-operative Management Agreement (PDF, 2.5 MB)

Yorta Yorta Traditional Owner Land Management Agreement

In October 2010, the State entered into a Traditional Owner Land Management Agreement with the Yorta Yorta.  This agreement establishes the Yorta Yorta Traditional Owner Land Management Board to jointly manage Barmah National Park.

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 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 Mt Eccles 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 Mt Eccles National Park.

As part of the settlement, the State also agreed to the freehold transfer of Lake Condah to GMTOAC.

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.

Dja Dja Wurrung authorisation orders

At the time of entering into the agreement, the gazetted Authorisation Orders provided the authority and specified the terms and conditions for Dja Dja Wurrung people to hunt, fish and gather on Crown land for traditional purposes. In recent amendments to the Traditional Owner Settlement Act, authorisation orders have been replaced with the Natural Resource Agreement being the source of rights for traditional owners  to undertake agreed activities on public land in the agreement area.

Find out more about the Dja Dja Wurrung authorisation orders:

Introduction and overview to Dja Dja Wurrung members on Country Rights (PDF, 89.6 KB)
Introduction and overview to Dja Dja Wurrung members on Country Rights (DOCX, 89.7 KB)

Camping Rights (PDF, 90.8 KB)
Camping Rights (DOCX, 91.4 KB)

Hunting and Fishing (PDF, 135.8 KB)
Hunting and Fishing (DOCX, 96.7 KB)

Plants and Forest Products (DOCX, 99.8 KB)

Protected Plant communities on Dja Dja Wurrung Country (DOCX, 85.3 KB)

Water Rights (PDF, 133.3 KB)
Water Rights (DOCX, 86.3 KB)

Map of Protected Plant Communities in Dja Dja Wurrung Country (PDF, 4.7 MB)

Map of Hunting and State Forests areas in Dja Dja Wurrung Country (PDF, 1.8 MB)