FAQS

Who are the Dja Dja Wurrung People?

A Dja Dja Wurrung person is descended through either parent to Apical Ancestors who were associated with Dja Dja Wurrung country by birth, place of burial, and/or other connection with Dja Dja Wurrung country at the time of first contact with Europeans.

    Some of the Dja Dja Wurrung clans are:
  • Wangaro-bulluk
  • Beal-bulluk
  • Burong-bulluk
  • Terack-bulluk
  • Learka-bulluk (Liarga-balug) - near Mt Tarrengower and Maldon
  • Kalkalgoondeet
  • Konangara balluk
  • Gal Gal Bulluk (Galgal Balug) - Mt Mitchell and Burnbank
  • Wornbulluk
  • Turingbulluk
  • Yongbulluk

Today, there are approximately 1,500 known Dja Dja Wurrung People living on Country, interstate and overseas.

For more information, you can visit the DDWCAC website here:
http://www.djadjawurrung.com.au/jaara-people/

What rights and responsibilities will the Dja Dja Wurrung People have under the Recognition and Settlement Agreement?

The Dja Dja Wurrung have the following Traditional Owner Rights in relation to the land in the Agreement Area which are recognised in accordance with s 9 of the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (Vic): (a) to enjoy the culture and identity of the Dja Dja Wurrung; (b) to maintain a distinctive spiritual, material and economic relationship with the land and the natural resources on or depending on the land; (c) to access and remain on the land; (d) to camp on the land; (e) to use and enjoy the land; (f) to take natural resources on or depending on the land; (g) to conduct cultural and spiritual activities on the land; and (h) to protect places and areas of importance on the land.

Under the Land Use Activity Agreement in the Recognition and Settlement Agreement, the Dja Dja Wurrung will have an opportunity to have a say or consent to certain activities on Crown land, and in some cases, reasonable ’community benefits’ are payable to the Dja Dja Wurrung Clan Aboriginal Corporation.

The Dja Dja Wurrung People will not have to pay for or hold a licence, but are required to be able to demonstrate that they are a member of the Dja Dja Wurrung traditional owner group.

There will be annual reporting and monitoring of the Dja Dja Wurrung People’s take of natural resources to ensure sustainability.

The agreement does not provide the Dja Dja Wurrung People with any commercial hunting, fishing or forestry rights under existing allocations. However, it does allow some limited take for commercial purposes, for example, for bushcraft manufacturing.

When did the Recognition and Settlement Agreement come into force?

The Dja Dja Wurrung Recognition and Settlement Agreement commenced on 24 October 2013.

Where are the Appointed Lands?

The Appointed Lands are six national parks within the agreement area. The agreement area extends from north of the Great Dividing Range near Daylesford and includes part or all of the catchments of the Richardson, Avon, Avoca, Loddon and Campaspe Rivers. It includes, inter alia, Crown land in the City of Greater Bendigo, Lake Boort and part of Lake Buloke.

The agreement relates to Crown lands and waters only within the external boundaries of the agreement area.

For more information on our Appointed Lands, please see the Appointed Lands section of our website here.

For exact coordinates and details of the agreement area, see pages 29-31 of the Recognition and Settlement Agreement.

What is Native Title?

Native Title (also known as Aboriginal Title) is a proprietary interest held by the traditional Aboriginal owners of land, deriving from their traditional laws and customs, as opposed to the common law system in Australia.

The common law has recognised Native Title right since the High Court of Australia case, Mabo No. 2, in 1992.

For more information visit: http://www.ntsv.com.au/native-title-in-victoria/

What is Joint Management?

Joint management is a term used to describe a formal partnership arrangement between the Traditional Owners of land and the State where both share their knowledge to manage specific national parks and other protected areas.

In the case of the Dja Dja Wurrung lands, this will involve shared governance between the State of Victoria and the Dja Dja Wurrung People, and shared management between Parks Victoria and the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation (DDWCAC). Parks Victoria and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning will continue to carry out day-to-day management and will permanently keep some core management functions.

Joint management will benefit both Dja Dja Wurrung and the wider community by recognising Dja Dja Wurrung culture and knowledge, providing quality visitor and tourism experiences, improving public education and conserving, protecting and enhancing natural and cultural values.

How will the success of the JMP be monitored?

The Recognition and Settlement Agreement has a Monitoring, Evaluation Reporting and Improving (MERI) Framework that assesses the progress towards these goals.

What are the laws relevant to the Board and the Joint Management Plan?

    Acts foundational to the board's work:
  • Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (Vic)
  • Conservation Forests and Lands Act 1987 (Vic)
    Other relevant Acts:
  • National Parks Act 1975 (Vic)
  • Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978 (Vic)
  • Forests Act 1958 (Vic)
  • Public Administration Act 2004 (Vic)

What is the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (Vic)?

The Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 is a Victorian law that provides for an out-of-court settlement of native title and resolution of land justice.

The Act allows the Victorian Government to make agreements with Traditional Owners to recognise their relationship to land, and provide for certain rights on Crown land and other benefits. In return for entering into a settlement Traditional Owners must agree to withdraw any native title claim they have pursuant to the Commonwealth Native Title Act 1993 and to cease from making a claim in the future.

Traditional Owner groups may still pursue a formal determination of native title under the Native Title Act 1993 through the Federal Court process if they wish.

What is a Traditional Owner Land Management Agreement (TOLMA)?

The TOLMA records the commitment to establish the Traditional Owner Land Management Board and appoint its members.

Section 23 of the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (Vic) specifies that before Aboriginal Title is granted over land, a Traditional Owner Land Management Agreement must be agreed to under s 82(p) of the Conservation, Forests and Land Act (Vic).

Will the Recognition and Settlement Agreement affect business on Crown Land?

Business on Crown Land will be affected to the extent of the Land Use Activity Agreement (LUAA) in the Dja Dja Wurrung Settlement Agreement. The LUAA came into effect on 25 October 2013. The LUAA provides procedural rights for recognised traditional owner groups over certain land use activities that occur on areas of public land and is a simplified alternative to the future acts regime of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).

The LUAA creates a new and simplified regime for the management of activities on public land that may have an impact on the rights of the Dja Dja Wurrung People. Under the LUAA, the Dja Dja Wurrung will have an opportunity to have a say or consent to certain activities on Crown land, and in some cases, reasonable ’community benefits’ are payable to the Dja Dja Wurrung Clan Aboriginal Corporation.

A Land Use Activity Agreement is entered into under Part 4 of the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (Vic), pursuant to the Native Title Act and registered on the Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements.

Will the agreement affect existing rights and interests on Crown land (for example farming, fishing, grazing and forestry)?

No. Existing leases, licences and other rights and interests will be protected for their full term. Recreational activities, like hunting and fishing will not be affected.

Will there be any changes to the national parks and reserves?

Six national parks and reserves in the agreement area will be transferred to the DDWCAC as ‘Aboriginal title’. Management rights for the land will then be transferred back to the State. The parks and reserves will be jointly managed by the State and the Dja Dja Wurrung through the Dhelkunya Dja Land Management Board (to be established after commencement of the settlement).

In all cases, the parks and reserves will continue to be managed under the same Act of Parliament by which they are reserved, but will also be subject to a joint management plan developed by the Dhelkunya Dja Land Management Board. The joint management plan must be approved by the Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, following public consultation.

Transfer of parks or reserves to Aboriginal title does not affect existing use and access.

Will access and use of jointly managed areas change?

Jointly managed areas will continue to be managed under the relevant public land Act under which they are reserved. Protections around existing use and access contained in these Acts and regulations will continue to apply.

The access and use of the land will be subject to the Joint Management Plan draft by the Dhelkunya Dja Land Management Board, which includes a public consultation process. The joint management plan must be consistent with state-wide policy to maintain public access, meaning existing licences or leases within the jointly managed area will be protected, friends groups can continue to operate and recreational fishing and hunting will be able to continue.

Copyright © 2017 Dhelkunya Dja Land Management Board