Traditional Owner Policy Context
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), was adopted by the General Assembly on Thursday, 13 September 2007, by a majority of 144 states in favour.
Today, the Declaration is the most comprehensive international instrument on the rights of indigenous peoples. It establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world, and it elaborates on existing human rights standards and fundamental freedoms, as they apply to the specific situation of indigenous peoples.
Native Title Act 1993
The Native Title Act 1993 (NTA), is a law passed by the Australian Parliament, the purpose of which is “to provide a national system for the recognition and protection of native title and for its co-existence with the national land management system”.
The main objects of this act are to:
- Provide for the recognition and protection of native title
- Establish ways in which future dealings affecting native title may proceed and to set standards for those dealings
- Establish a mechanism for determining claims to native title
- Provide for, or permit, the validation of past acts, and intermediate period acts, invalidated because of the existence of native title.
Close the Gap
Closing the Gap, acknowledges the ongoing strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in sustaining the world’s oldest living cultures.
Closing the Gap is underpinned by the belief that when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a genuine say in the design and delivery of policies, programs and services that affect them, better life outcomes are achieved. It also recognises that structural change in the way governments work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is needed to close the gap.
All Australian governments are working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their communities, organisations and businesses to implement the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap, at the national, state, territory and local levels.
Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006
The Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006, acts primarily to provide for the protection of Aboriginal culture heritage in Victoria.
Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994
The Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, is the legislation that promotes and enables integrated catchment management across Victoria, including the establishment of catchment management regions, catchment management authorities and the requirement for Regional Catchment Strategies.
Recent amendments to Act have strengthened requirements to have regard to Aboriginal cultural values and traditional ecological knowledge in waterway and catchment management. Statutory bodies, are required to consult with Traditional Owner groups, native title holders and specified Aboriginal parties for the preparation of management plans and strategies for waterways and catchments.
Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010
The purposes of this Act, are to advance reconciliation and promote good relations between the State and Traditional Owners, and to recognise Traditional Owner groups based on their traditional and cultural associations to certain land in Victoria.
Water Act 1989
The Water Act 1989, provides the legal framework for managing Victoria’s water resources. The main purposes of the Act are to promote the equitable and efficient use of water resources, ensure water resources are conserved and properly managed for the benefit of all Victorians, and increase community involvement in conserving and managing water resources.
Amendments to the Act made in 2019, include the need to consider Aboriginal cultural values, social values and recreational values in waterway management. Statutory bodies must consult with Traditional Owner groups, native title holders and specified Aboriginal parties for the preparation of management plans and strategies for waterways and catchments.
Managing Country Together Framework
The Managing Country Together Framework is a blueprint that guides how Parks Victoria works in partnership with Traditional Owners to protect Victoria’s cultural landscapes. It outlines how Parks Victoria recognises and supports Traditional Owner rights and interests through park management.
Pupangarli Marnmarnepu “Owning Our Future” Aboriginal Self – Determination Reform Strategy 2020-2025
Traditional Owner Native Foods and Botanicals Strategy
The Native Foods and Botanicals Strategy was developed by Victorian Traditional Owners to create a strong, authentic, sustainable bushfood sector that benefits all Victorians – while maintaining the rights of Traditional Owners to control, guide and benefit from their heritage.
The aims of Traditional Owner Native Foods and Botanicals Strategy are to recover and reclaim knowledge and practices, as well as strengthen and restore Traditional Owner leadership of Victoria’s dynamic and growing native foods and botanicals industry in ways that reflect their inherent rights and sovereignty.
The Strategy provides a set of principles and strategic priorities to facilitate greater self-determination for Traditional Owners and to provide a policy and practice framework for an effective Traditional Owner-led Native Foods and Botanicals Industry.
Victorian Traditional Owner Cultural Fire Strategy
The Traditional Owner Cultural Landscapes Strategy, presents a framework for how Traditional Owners can lead the planning and management of Country for cultural, environmental and economic benefit. It provides direction to the Victorian Government about how it can support this work and identifies existing barriers to address. This is a Traditional Owner authored document.
In line with the Victorian Government’s commitment to self-determination, DELWP and Parks Victoria, recognise that Traditional Owners will determine their own land management goals and pathways to reaching those goals.
Water for Victoria
Water for Victoria, is a Plan for a future with less water, as Victoria responds to the impact of climate change and a growing population.
The actions set out in the Plan, support a healthy environment, a prosperous economy with growing agricultural production, and thriving communities.
The Victorian Government is supporting Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians to take an active role in the management of the state’s water resources. By building knowledge and understanding about the values, uses and economic potential of water for Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians, we can recognise and support these values in how we plan, manage and deliver water. Chapter 6 of the Plan includes four key actions recognising and managing for Aboriginal values:
Action 6.1: Recognise Aboriginal values and objectives for water
Action 6.2: Include Aboriginal values and traditional ecological knowledge in water planning
Action 6.3: Support Aboriginal access to water for economic development
Action 6.4: Build capacity to increase Aboriginal participation in water management
Gunaikurnai Whole of Country Plan
The Gunaikurnai Whole of Country Plan, was developed in 2013-2014. The Plan, translates the aspirations of the Gunaikurnai Traditional Owners into a holistic framework that links cultural heritage, natural resource management, economic development and community well being. This strategic framework sets the foundation for how our mob is going to move forward, to manage Country, and participate in society. It contains principles that will be used to guide our decision-making, and seven goal areas that together paint a picture of the future we want.
Gunaikurnai Joint Management Plan
The Gunaikurnai & Victorian Government Joint Management Plan, was approved by the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change in July 2018. This is the first Joint Management Plan to be approved in Victoria.
The Joint Management Plan (JMP), guides the partnership between the Gunaikurnai people and the Victorian Government, in the joint management of ten parks and reserves in the Gippsland region. It supersedes any former approved management plans for theses parks and reserves:
- Buchan Caves Reserve
- Corringle Foreshore Reserve
- Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park
- Gippsland Lakes Reserve at Raymond Island
- Lake Tyers
- Mitchell River National Park
- New Guinea Cave (within Snowy River National Park)
- Tarra-Bulga National Park
- The Knob Reserve
- The Lakes National Park.
The Joint Management Plan has 11 components including an Introduction, the Strategic Plan, and Management Plans for the ten jointly managed parks and reserves (two of which are combined in one plan).
The Strategic Plan describes what the joint management partners want to achieve, through joint management and outlines a long-term strategy for getting there.