Traditional Owners


West Gippsland is a complex region, with a diverse array of high value environments and landscapes, from rare alpine peatland ecosystems to complex coastal wetland and estuarine systems that are internationally recognised for their waterbird habitat values. These natural landscapes hold special significance for the region’s Traditional Owners.

Traditional Owners through their respective corporations will ensure their aspirations will play an increasing role in how these landscapes are managed into the future. This will be facilitated by the modernisation of government legislation and policy toward Traditional Owner inclusion now and in the coming years. 

There are three formally recognised Registered Aboriginal Parties within the broader West Gippsland CMA region. Each recognised Registered Aboriginal Party represents their Traditional Owners and Country.  The recognised Registered Aboriginal Parties are: 

GLaWAC covers approximately 80% of the West Gippsland CMA region, BLCAC 13% and WWW 1%. The remaining 6% presently does not currently have a RAP appointed. Within this area the Boonwurrung Land and Sea Council are an additional representative Aboriginal Corporation. 

GLaWAC is also the prescribed body corporate on behalf of the Gunaikurnai people, for the purposes of the Native Title Act 1993 (Commonwealth). The State of Victoria has also entered into Recognition and Settlement Agreement with the Gunaikurnai people. The Recognition and Settlement Agreement, executed under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010, affords Gunaikurnai people rights relating to the use of public land within their Agreement area.

The region’s Traditional Owners are seeking a more active role in the management of the region’s natural resources, which includes managing the region in accordance with cultural knowledge and practices.