A partnership approach to land and waterway management in Gippsland

Celebrating National Reconciliation Week

Four water corporations in the Gippsland region – East Gippsland Water, Gippsland Water, South Gippsland Water and Southern Rural Water – are signatories to the Gunaikurnai Land And Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) and Gippsland Environmental Agencies (GEA) Partnership Agreement.

The Agreement has four key objectives and a two-year action plan. The objectives are:

  • Respecting Gunaikurnai as Traditional Owners and fostering mutual respect
  • Supporting economic development opportunities
  • Supporting joint management arrangements within the ten parks and reserves
  • Support a workforce strategy for Aboriginal people in Gippsland

The partnership recognises the vital importance of healthy land and waterways in the traditional culture of the Gunaikurnai and forms the framework for land and water initiatives in the region.

The multi-agency approach recognises that Traditional Owners groups are often stretched by the increasing interest in engagement from agencies across many sectors, and do not have the resources or time to negotiate separate agreements with individual agencies. This is the strength of the multi-agency model: it allows the Traditional Owners to lead the joint process with all partners, and for the collective group to share, learn and more quickly implement the agreed objectives with partner collaborations.

To find out more about the initiatives and activities that support Aboriginal inclusion, participation, engagement and employment in the Victorian water sector, see the Victorian Water Industry Recognising and Managing for Aboriginal Values Report (February 2020).