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Country is the central pillar of our work and strategy because healthy Country means healthy community.

The Aboriginal concept of Country recognises the intrinsic interconnectedness of everything. It encompasses all aspects of the landscape, mountains, the sky, the sea, rivers, plants, animals, stories, fire, places, people, everything. Caring for Country is intrinsically holistic.

Country first is the guiding principle for our Traditional Owner knowledge holders. Our work to embed culture on Country supports Traditional Owner decision making in policy and respects over 40,000 years of lived experience on Country.

Our work on Country recognises the knowledge, rights and responsibilities of Traditional Owners. We work in the following areas to embed Traditional Owner voices in management of Country.



The role of animals is fundamental to the health of wellbeing of Country, culture and community. They have spiritual connection as totem animals are measures of Country health in their populations and locations.


The impact of climate change on Country is profound. Traditional Owners are applying their knowledge to manage its effects and create economic development opportunities from the expanding renewable energy sector.


The application of cultural fire through Traditional Owner led practices across all types of Country and land tenure will enable Traditional Owners to heal Country and fulfill their rights and obligations to care for Country.


The retention of cultural heritage in the landscape is essential in understanding our Ancestors relationship to Country and continuing our creation of cultural connections in the landscape today.


A cultural landscape approach will systematically enable and empower Victorian Traditional Owners to activate cultural knowledge and practices to manage Country.


Traditional Owners have cultivated and managed Country for millennia, developing processes for sustainable food and medicinal plant production, as well as holistic cultural and ecological land management.


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