Joint Land Management from concept to practice: The Gunaikurnai experience

Thursday, 7 June 2018
Rob Willersdorf
Roger Fenwick
Marianne Atkinson
David Lucas
Brian Stevens
Glenys Watts
Jean-Pierre Issaverdis
Joanne Brunt

The Gunaikurnai people are recognised by the Federal Court and the State of Victoria as the traditional owners of a large part of Gippsland, Victoria. Coinciding with the Federal Court’s Native Title Determination in 2010, the Victorian Government entered into a Recognition and Settlement Agreement (RSA) with Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) on behalf of the Gunaikurnai people.

Amongst other measures, the RSA provides for the granting of Aboriginal Title over ten public land parks and reserves to GLaWAC, with this land to be jointly managed by GLaWAC and the State. The RSA also provided for the establishment of a Traditional Owner Land Management Board (GKTOLMB) whose role is to guide the strategic direction for the joint management of these Aboriginal Title lands to enable the knowledge and culture of the Gunaikurnai people to be recognised in the management of these lands.

This paper discusses the joint management journey since 2010 from the perspective of the joint management partners, principally GLaWAC and Parks Victoria, including the learnings from the development of the first Gunaikurnai and Victorian Government Joint Management Plan, and the complex partnership relationships associated with achieving the expectations of the RSA’s Traditional Owner Land Management Agreement