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Cultural Heritage Cultural Landscape Discussion Paper

Cultural Heritage Cultural Landscape Discussion Paper

‘Ngootyoong Gunditj, Ngootyoong Mara’
South West Management Plan

Cultural Heritage – Cultural Landscape

(download  a PDF from the Resources page)


The ‘Ngootyoong Gunditj, Ngootyoong Mara’ South West Management Plan area contains historic places, landscapes and associations representing the rich and diverse history of the area. For the Gunditjmara Traditional Owners the connection with country has always been strong, pre and post European contact through landscapes, hunting, aquaculture, gathering places, ceremonial and burial grounds, survival and stories. European exploration and settlement of the planning area also has many connections and stories.

Heritage is more than objects and buildings; it is also about intangible and intrinsic values, places, associations and experiences. Heritage is at the heart of community identity. It is part of how we define ourselves and our place in the world. Visitors come to share this appreciation as they learn the stories of that place throughout time and discover links to their own past (Context Pty Ltd 2010).


Relevant legislation for the protection of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Cultural Heritage:

National Heritage

The Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape incorporates two areas: the Mt Eccles Lake Condah area, and the Tyrendarra Area. The Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape was included on the National Heritage List in 2004, in recognition of the landscape’s outstanding heritage value to the nation, its significant Indigenous heritage and its value to all Australians. The landscape is protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cwlth).

Management of the Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape is guided by the National Heritage management principles as set out in Schedule 5B of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000 (Cwlth)(EPBC Regulations). These management principles are used when preparing and implementing management plans and management arrangements for a National Heritage place such as Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape.

Indigenous cultural heritage legislation

  • All Aboriginal places, objects and Aboriginal human remains are protected under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 (Vic.). Heritage Tools - Department of Planning and Community Development. It is an offence to damage, interfere with or endanger an Aboriginal place, object or human remains except in accordance with a Cultural Heritage Management Plan developed with the relevant Registered Aboriginal Party(s). Issues relating to the protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage are approached in accordance with this Act.
  • The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 (Cwlth) preserves and protect places and objects of cultural significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Currently the legislation provides this protection at the national level for all states with the exception of Victoria where the legislation operates at the state level. This means that currently the Commonwealth delegates its powers to the State Minister to administer the provisions under the Act relating to matters of preservation of Aboriginal places or objects in Victoria.

The Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation is the Registered Aboriginal Party, responsible for Indigenous Cultural Heritage protection, in the planning area.

·The Gunditjmara Traditional Owners 2007 Native Title consent determination, under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cwlth), recognised the non-exclusive native title rights of the Gunditjmara people over 140,000 hectares of vacant Crown Land, national parks, reserves, rivers, creeks and sea north west of Warrnambool. Rights strengthen Gunditjmara identity - Talking Native Title - National Native Title Tribunal

Non Indigenous cultural heritage legislation

  • The Heritage Act 1995 (Vic.) identifies and protects heritage places and objects that are of significance to the State of Victoria.
  • Shipwrecks are protected in Victoria under the Heritage Act and the  Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976 (Cwlth)
  • Under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic.), and the Victoria Planning Provisions, permits are required from the relevant municipal council for works to all places included in the associated Planning Scheme Heritage Overlay.
  • Management of Cape Nelson Lightstation is guided by the Cape Nelson Lightstation Conservation Management Plan (Clive Lucas et al 1994).

Relevant heritage management policies and guidelines:

  • The Burra Charter is a document comprising of a series of 34 articles which define the basic principles and procedures to be observed in the conservation of important places and objects.
  • The Land Conservation Council Historic Places Special Investigation South Western Victoria Final Recommendations (1997) contains recommendations for the protection, management and future use of historic places, representing state, regional and local levels of significance on public land.
  • Parks Victoria's Heritage Management Strategy, 2003, assists in making sense of its diverse cultural heritage portfolio, helping to make decisions about conservation and presentation by establishing actions, priorities and standards in heritage management.
  • Victoria's Heritage: Strengthening our communities  is the State’s heritage strategy, in which key agencies such as Parks Victoria and DSE are identified as partners with key roles in delivering a sustainable future for the heritage of our community.
  • Victoria’s Framework of Historical Themes helps to fulfil the direction of the State Heritage Strategy by providing a tool for developing a wider recognition and appreciation of Victoria’s diverse Aboriginal, historical and natural histories and the rich heritage resources these have created.
  • The Parks Victoria Indigenous Partnerships Strategy and Action Plan facilitates traditional owners and their communities to take part in decision making processes surrounding land and water resources management.
  • Parks Victoria has prepared an Indigenous Risk Assessment and Heritage Risk Assessment as well as Moveable Cultural Heritage guidelines to guide management and on ground works.

Parks Victoria, Gunditjmara Traditional Owners and DSE are responsible for the protection and management of Indigenous and Non- Indigenous cultural heritage on parks, reserves and Gunditjmara owned private property within the planning area, for which they have management responsibility.

Social value and use

Social value refers to places that are of value because of their strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons. Places may be of social value when they:

  • are important to a community as a landmark marker or signature
  • are important as a reference point in a community’s identity or sense of itself, and
  • provide strong or special community attachment through use or association.

Parks Victoria in collaboration with the Gunditjmara Traditional Owners and DSE has commissioned a Cultural Heritage and Social Values Assessment which will inform the planning process as well as this Discussion Paper. Outcomes from the project will be:

  • Land Use History Research  - Gunditjmara Traditional Owners and non Indigenous
  • Gunditjmara Cultural Place Assessment
  • Historic and Contemporary Values Assessment – Gunditjmara Traditional Owners and Non Indigenous
  • Management Recommendations

Understanding social value is an important part of public land management and requires active engagement with communities and groups to articulate values and associations with places. Researching social value provides an opportunity to effectively engage with the community, learning from its knowledge and improving understanding of, and gaining support for management.

A separate Discussion Paper has been prepared for Gunditjmara Traditional Owners Cultural Values.


The Heritage Council of Victoria in conjunction with Heritage Victoria has developed the Framework of Historical Themes as a tool to be used by the community, heritage practitioners, land management agencies and decision makers to interpret heritage, provide interconnections between natural and cultural heritage, provide a way of viewing non material heritage and make connections and associations with Traditional Owners (Context Pty Ltd 2010). These themes can also assist and guide the development of interpretation programs and services.

Within the ‘Ngootyoong Gunditj, Ngootyoong Mara’ South West Management Plan area the following themes and sub-themes are applicable. Examples have been provided but are not exhaustive.

    • Shaping Victoria’s Environment

    Sub –themes

    Examples of places and objects in the planning area

    Tracing climatic and topographic change

    Volcanoes and lava flows, Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape, Kanawinka Geopark (volcanic province).

    Gunditjmara Traditional Owners witnessing eruption of Budj Bim.

    Tracing the emergence of Victoria’s plants and animals

    Parks and Reserves, Indigenous Protected Areas.

    Understanding scientifically diverse environments

    Parks and Reserves, Indigenous Protected Areas. Kentbruck Heath in Lower Glenelg NP.

    Creation stories and defining country

    Places associated with Gunditjmara Traditional Owners creation stories, Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape

    Stony country, Sea country, river country and forest country.

    Living with natural processes

    Cape Nelson Lightstation, Lake Condah, Squatters stories, significant fire events, drought, disease, volcanic activity.

    Appreciating and protecting Victoria’s natural wonders

    Creation and history of parks and reserves, Princess Margaret Rose Caves, Byaduk Caves, Lake Surprise and crater lakes, Great Ocean Road National Landscape, environmental campaigns.

    Gunditjmara Traditional Owners connection to Geriward.

    Glenelg River heritage listing


    • Peopling Victoria’s Places and Landscapes

    Sub –themes

    Examples of places and objects in the planning area

    Living as Victoria’s original inhabitants

    Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape

    Exploring, surveying, mapping

    Major Mitchell Trail

    Adapting to diverse environments

    Aquaculture at Lake Condah, Squatters stories

    Migrating and making a home

    Portland North Cemetery Historic Area

    Maintaining distinctive cultures

    Lake Condah Mission

    Lake Condah soldier settlement scheme

    Promoting settlement

    Major Mitchell Trail, Great Ocean Road National Landscape

    Fighting for identity

    Conflict/Massacre sites, Convincing Ground, Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape, Eumerella Wars, Lake Condah Mission, Gunditjmara Native Title determination, Onus v Alcoa High Court case, the Gunditjmara Land Justice Story.


    • Transforming and Managing Land and Natural Resources

    Sub –themes

    Examples of places and objects in the planning area

    Living off the land

    Lake Condah aquaculture

    Oven mounds, occupation sites, canoe trees, quarries and other sources of raw material

    Living from the sea

    Canoes, coastal shell middens

    Sealing and whaling, whaling station

    Fishing, jetties

    Grazing and raising livestock

    Baileys Rocks homestead site, Dergholm SP

    Bessiebelle Sheepdip


    Drystone walls and structures in Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape and Mount Napier SP

    Exploiting other mineral, forest and water resources

    Lime kilns, Bats Ridge Nature Reserve,

    Shell grit extractions site, Cape Nelson SP

    timber harvesting and mill sites in Cobobboonee NP and FP

    Cliff path to freshwater springs, Cape Bridgewater, Discovery Bay CP

    Fishing, Beekeeping

    Transforming the land and waterways

    Lake Condah aquaculture

    Peter Francis Points Arboretum, Habitat 141


    • Connecting Victorians by transport and communications

    Sub –themes

    Examples of places and objects in the planning area

    Establishing pathways

    Gunditjmara Traditional Owners trade and exchange networks, following pathways

    ‘Way Station’ Mt Eccles NP

    Linking Victorians by water

    Cape Nelson Lightstation including significant objects on the Victorian Heritage Register

    Shipwrecks around Cape Bridgewater

    Travelling by river

    Linking Victorians by road in the 20th century

    Country Roads Board forest roads

    Great Ocean Road National Landscape

    Travelling by tram/railways

    Remains of early tramway, Bolwarra BR


    • Building Victoria’s Industries and Workforce

    Sub –themes

    Examples of places and objects in the planning area

    Catering for tourists

    Budj Bim Tours, Mt Eccles NP, Princess Margaret Rose Caves, Cape Nelson Lightstation tours and accommodation, Great South West Walk, Pattersons Canoe Camp Lower Glenelg NP, park licensed tour operators


    Squatters, settler farming and foresters

    Gunditjmara Traditional Owners working in the European settler economy, e.g. forestry, farming


    • Building Towns, Cities and the Garden State

    Sub –themes

    Examples of places and objects in the planning area

    Making homes for Victorians

    Lake Condah Mission

    Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape

    Former shacks at wacks, Lower Glenelg River


    • Governing Victorians

    Sub –themes

    Examples of places and objects in the panning area

    Struggling for political rights

    Creation of the national parks

    Gunditjmara Traditional Owners Native Title Determination

    The Gunditjmara Land Justice Story

    Onus v Alcoa High Court Case

    Defending Victoria and Australia

    Gunditjmara Traditional Owners war service and returned soldiers

    Reg Lovett memorial in Canberra War Memorial


    • Building Community Life

    Sub –themes

    Examples of places and objects in the planning area

    Maintaining spiritual life

    Gunditjmara Traditional Owners sacred places, Lake Condah Mission

    Educating people

    Budj Bim Tours, Tyrendarra and Kutonij IPAs

    Friends of Great South West Walk, Friends of the Points, Conservation Volunteers Aust

    Parknotes, Forest Notes


    Preserving traditions and commemorating

    Convincing Ground

    Peter Francis Points Arboretum

    Marking the phases of life

    Portland North Cemetery HA, Lake Condah Mission Cemetery


    • Shaping Cultural and Creative Life

    Sub –themes

    Examples of places and objects in the planning area

    Advancing knowledge

    Budj Bim Visitor Centre, Budj Bim tours, Peter Farncis Points (Arboretum) Flora Reserve.

The Framework of Historical Themes provides case studies, one of which is the Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape. The case study provides examples of the complex cultural landscape and intertwining themes and sub-themes.


Place names are an important part of a place’s cultural heritage, and an indicator of cultural and social values attached to the place. Most, if not all the names of topographical, cultural and other features in parks and reserves were adopted long before the parks and reserves were declared. Some names commemorate people or events associated with exploration, settlement or use of the land. Other names are derived from Aboriginal history or culture, or from the history of a park.

In a declared park or reserve, the need may arise to name or rename features because of their popularity with visitors or for the convenience of operations. Similarly, many opportunities will arise to use more relevant names, particularly traditional Aboriginal words and names with the appropriate Traditional Owner organisational approval, that can contribute both to visitor experience and the development of respectful relationships.

The naming or renaming of places is guided by the Guidelines for Geographic Names 2010 (DSE 2010). Generally, government agencies such as Parks Victoria and DSE are responsible for naming places under their management. There may be opportunities to explore new names for places within the planning area through the draft management plan. It is essential that any proposals to rename places are consistent with the principles contained in the guidelines, and that the wider community is consulted about any proposed names.


  • Promote Cultural Heritage and Cultural Landscapes to educational groups
  • Strengthen the country/landscapes – Sea Country, Stone Country, Forest Country and River/Forest Country
  • Registration and use of Gunditjmara Traditional Owners names for key locations
  • Sharing and storing of Gunditjmara Traditional Owners and non-Indigenous knowledge for protected area management, future generations and cultural obligations.
  • Explore old connections through new processes – e.g. Lake Condah weir restoration
  • Gunditjmara Traditional Owners aspiration for a skills audit and training/capacity building in all aspects of park management.
  • Gunditjmara Traditional Owners aspiration through the Lake Condah Sustainability project to seek nomination of the Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape as a World Heritage Site.


  • What cultural heritage values do you think are important to you in the ‘Ngootyoong Gunditj, Ngootyoong Mara’ South West Management Plan area?
  • To what extent would you like to share those values with others?
  • What themes and sub-themes listed above do you think should be priorities for interpretation and information across the planning area?
  • Are there any cultural heritage values that are not listed that you think should be and why?


Clive Lucas, Stapleton and Partners Pty Ltd 1994, Cape Nelson Lightstation Conservation Management Plan, prepared for Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Canberra.

Context Pty Ltd 2010, Victoria’s Framework of Historical Themes, Heritage Council of Victoria, Melbourne.

DSE 2010, Guidelines for Geographic Names 2010, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Melbourne.

Heritage Victoria 2006, Victoria’s Heritage: Strengthening our communities, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Melbourne.

Land Conservation Council 1996, Historic Places Special Investigation South Western Victoria Descriptive Report, Land Conservation Council, Melbourne.

Land Conservation Council 1997, Historic Places Special Investigation South Western Victoria Final Recommendation, Land Conservation Council, Melbourne.

Contact: James Hackel

Phone: 0429950623