Above: From left, Port Phillip and Westernport CMA Chair Neville Goodwin signing a partnership agreement with Wurundjeri Elders Aunty Alice Kolasa, Aunty Doreen Garvey Wandin, Aunty Julie-Anne Axeford and David Buntine CMA CEO at Mt William stone axe quarry.
Celebrations held in the Port Phillip and Western Port region to mark 30 years of Landcare in Victoria have highlighted the positive relationship between the CMA and Traditional Owners.
The Port Phillip and Westernport CMA works with the Boon Wurrung, Wurundjeri and Wadawurrung Traditional Owner organisations within the region. In 2014 the CMA worked with each organisation to develop a series of statements about the goals and aspirations of Indigenous organisations to participate and be involved in natural resource management and sustainable agriculture.
This work has strengthened relationships between local Landcare groups and Traditional Owners. It has also provided employment of Indigenous people including the Wurundjeri Narrap (land) management team.
The 30 years of Landcare anniversary events held in 2016 saw a number of successful cultural activities that further increased personal connections and cultural awareness within the Landcare community.
As part of the field trips associated with the 2016 National Landcare Conference, delegates joined Wurundjeri Narrap team members to tour the Wurundjeri-owned Coranderrk property in Healesville, and the bush foods and insectarium trial set up at the Fielderberry Farm in Cockatoo.
With support from the CMA’s regional Landcare Facilitator, Karen Thomas, the Wurundjeri owners of Coranderrk farm have secured funding to develop a farm plan. Management funding through the CMA’s environmental project, Yarra4Life, has also been secured.
The Wurundjeri hosted representatives from the Jacksons Creek EcoNetwork, the Upper Deep Creek and Upper Campaspe Landcare Networks and Macedon Ranges Shire on a tour of the culturally significant Mt William stone axe quarry.
Aunty Carolyn Briggs from Boon Wurrung Foundation attended a celebration dinner with Western Port Catchment Landcare Network at Garfield, and welcomed them to Boon Wurrung country with a smoking ceremony.
Regular and ongoing engagement and statements of commitment toward achieving collaborative goals have been formalised in Partnership Agreements signed by the CMA and the Wurundjeri and Wathaurong Cooperative in 2016.