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Victorian traditional owners' strong connection with the land has been recognised in an agreement to jointly manage some of the new River Red Gum parks.
This agreement is a first for Victoria and recognises Aboriginal people's strong connections and understanding of the land and waterways for many thousands of years. Importantly, joint management will ensure they play a central role in managing these parks in the future.
The forest, river, plants and animals are all part of Country and the cultural identity of Victoria's traditional owners. They are valued for the environment and as a vital part of contemporary Aboriginal culture. Protecting, managing and enjoying the land are an important part of this connection.
Barmah National Park will be jointly managed by the Yorta Yorta people and Parks Victoria.
Traditional Owner Land Management Boards
These boards will be established to oversee the management of both parks for the benefit of all Victorians. This approach will allow the recognised practice of traditional land management techniques and uses in conjunction with the state's contemporary application of reserve and natural resource management systems.
The Yorta Yorta Board
On 29 October 2010 the Victorian Minister for Environment and Climate Change and the Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation (YYNAC) signed a Traditional Owner Land Management Agreement. This Agreement records the government's commitment to establish a Traditional Owner Land Management Board at Barmah National Park, to be known as the Yorta Yorta Board. The Agreement also sets out the governance framework around the board and the board's initial role, land and principles for the Board.