Our Partners

Traditional Owners

Partnering with Traditional Owners

Trust for Nature and Traditional Owners

In 2017, Trust for Nature's Board formally adopted a Statement of Intent and Commitment to Victorian Traditional Owner Groups

The policy formally restates Trust for Nature's ongoing commitment to meaningful engagement and partnership approaches to working with Victorian Traditional Owner groups. It is guided by four key principles:

  • Recognition and respect
  • Cultural learning and development
  • Healthy natural environments and ecosystems
  • Capacity building and economic opportunities

As part of our approach, Trust for Nature recognises the continuing spiritual and cultural connection of Traditional Owners to Victoria's land, wildlife, freshwater and saltwater environments.

Trust for Nature also shares with Victorian Traditional Owners a deep appreciation for native wildlife and habitats on both public and private land and in aquatic environments.

The Trust is committed to assisting Traditional Owners to conserve, restore where possible and protect natural environments, wildlife and cultural heritage values. 

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Photo: Annette Ruzicka

Partnerships in practice

Trust for Nature engages regularly with Traditional Owners. Activities include joint projects, spending time together on country, land management and knowledge sharing. We have:

  • Worked with the Wurundjeri Tribe's Narrap team to help 17 local landholders remove woody weeds on their covenanted properties in the Dandenong Ranges. This project has been supported by the Port Phillip & Westernport Catchment Management Authority and the Australian Government's National Landcare Programme
  • Worked with the Lake Tyers Aboriginal Trust to protect a Ramsar-listed wetland and fringing vegetation communities. The area includes sites of cultural significance
  • Employed the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation's bushland work crew to assist with on-ground delivery of project activities in East Gippsland
  • Liaised with the Mallee Catchment Management Authority and Parks Victoria's Indigenous Facilitators to gain advice on cultural protection across Neds Corner Station conservation reserve
  • Worked with the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation in northern Victoria when planning conservation programs on our reserves, and their works crews have been engaged to do habitat improvement at Long Swamp: Murray Family Conservation Reserve
  • Participated in Healthy Country Planning workshops in northern Victoria, most recently with Barapa Barapa Traditional Owners and Dja Dja Wurrung Traditional Owners
  • Worked with Barengi Gadjin Land Council to plan conservation activities on Bank Australia's conservation reserve at Minimay in the Wimmera
  • Spent time on country with Traditional Owners from the Taungurung Clans Aboriginal Corporation visiting covenanted properties together in north east Victoria
  • Been helping the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation develop a new land management group
  • Created a Conservation Officer Traineeship in East Gippsland - focussing on training, employing, and mentoring a person from within the Aboriginal community
  • Learnt about cool burning practices from Dhudhuroa elders in Kiewa, at a North East Catchment Management Authority field day led by Uncle Rod Mason and funded by the National Landcare Programme