Joint management in Gunaikurnai Country

Mr Rob Willersdorf1, Mr Daniel Miller2

1Gunaikurnai Traditional Owner Land Management Board, Bairnsdale, Australia, 2Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation, Kalimna West, Australia


The Gunaikurnai people are recognised by the Federal Court and the State of Victoria as the traditional owners of a large part of Gippsland, Victoria. Coinciding with the Federal Court’s Native Title Determination in 2010, the Victorian Government entered into a Recognition and Settlement Agreement (RSA) with Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) on behalf of the Gunaikurnai people.

Amongst other measures, the RSA provides for the granting of Aboriginal Title over ten public land parks and reserves to GLaWAC, with this land to be jointly managed by GLaWAC and the State. Five of these Aboriginal Title areas are coastal parks and reserves. The RSA also provided for the establishment of a Traditional Owner Land Management Board (GKTOLMB) whose role is to guide the strategic direction for the joint management of these Aboriginal Title lands to enable the knowledge and culture of the Gunaikurnai people to be recognised in the management of these lands.

This presentation discusses the Gunaikurnai Country joint management journey since 2010 from the perspective of the joint management partners, principally GLaWAC and Parks Victoria. It includes observations from the development and initial implementation of the first Gunaikurnai and Victorian Government Joint Management Plan, and of the initiatives being pursued by GLaWAC to advance the aspirations of the Gunaikurnai Whole of Country Plan across the land, sea and waters that lie within the Gunaikurnai RSA area’.


Daniel Miller is the General Manager – On Country of Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation, the Prescribed Body Corporate for the Gunaikurnai people. In his role, Daniel is responsible for the Joint Management, Natural Resource Management Enterprise, and Registered Aboriginal Party functions of the Corporation.