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The concept of a cultural landscape bridges the differences between Indigenous and ‘western’ world views, between Natural Resource Management (NRM) and caring for Country. This approach can moderate the damage perpetrated by ‘western’ approaches to managing Country and enables a dialogue between Traditional Owners and government land managers that does not exclude one or the other world view.

Victorian Traditional Owner Cultural Landscapes Strategy

To realise the ambitions of Traditional Owners to lead management of Country through a cultural landscape approach, the Victorian Traditional Owner Cultural Landscape Strategy was developed. The Strategy redefines caring for Country by the world’s oldest living culture.

“The purpose of the strategy is to embed, at statewide level, Traditional Owner Management of Country… to effect transformational change in contemporary land and water management.”

The strategy was led by Traditional Owners and facilitated by the Federation and developed in Partnership with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Parks Victoria. The Strategy is the first of its kind in Australia and sets out a framework to systematically enable and empower Victorian Traditional Owners to lead planning and activate cultural knowledge and practices to manage Country.

The Strategy provides a pathway for Traditional Owners to repatriate management practices and begin the complex task of restoring and redressing harms to Country and, in doing so, bring healing to Country and community. The Strategy also provides a pathway that enables land, water, fire and biodiversity managers across government departments and agencies to embrace systemic changes in policy, planning, governance and management practices that will result in a transformation to Traditional Owners leading decision making and management.

This is an important step towards reconciliation, treaty and to Traditional Owners, once again, caring for Country.

View the Victorian Traditional Owner Cultural Landscapes Strategy.

View the Poster.