Engaging Indigenous Communities

cultural heritage management discussionThe Port Phillip & Westernport CMA employs a Regional Indigenous Facilitator that provides support to the staff and board of the CMA, along with other organisations, to ensure a consistent, inclusive and productive engagement with Indigenous people of the Port Phillip & Western Port region.

The Regional Indigenous Facilitator works directly with Indigenous organisations and communities to document their goals relating to natural resource management and agriculture. The Port Phillip & Westernport CMA have developed a formal partnership arrangement with the Wurundjeri and the Wathaurong and are working towards developing similar arrangements with other Traditional Owners of the Kulin Nations within the region. This includes the Wathaurung, Boon Wurrung and Bunurong.

Events and activities undertaken to improve the Indigenous cultural understanding of people from the Port Phillip & Westernport CMA and various other organisations include:

  • Cultural heritage and cultural awareness forums delivered by Traditional Owners to partner organisations
  • Traditional cultural practices and celebrations including a traditional bark removal practice and demonstration of the use of an eel trap on the Yarra River
  • Cultural competency days for Port Phillip & Westernport CMA staff
  • Discussions on fire management practices between Wurundjeri elders and land management organisations
  • Field days and training on topics such plant identification, andshorebird and wetland conservation to teach Indigenous people more about their region and help improve further employment prospects.


Port Phillip & Westernport CMA Indigenous Participation Plan

The Port Phillip & Westernport CMA was proud to establish ita Indigenous Participation Plan in 2017. It sets the framework for our continued inclusive and productive engagement with Indigenous people. Our board and staff are very committed to increasing Indigenous participation in the work that we do including in environmental management and sustainable agriculture.

The development of this plan has helped us reflect on how we are engaging with Indigenous organisations and people. We have considered our recent activities and the partnerships we have developed and
identified opportunities for more improvement in our practices.

This plan links our everyday work with Indigenous people and identifies measures of success which will be monitored and reported to the Board.

We particularly thank our Indigenous partners from the Wadawurrung, Wurundjeri and Bunurong for their enthusiasm and willingness to work together, and we also look forward to working with other Indigenous people of our region to increase participation.

Our Board will work alongside our Chief Executive Officer and staff to ensure strong support from all levels in our organisation for the implementation of this plan. We aim to make a strong contribution to ‘closing
the gap’ in this region.

Download the Port Phillip & Westernport CMA Indigenous Participation Plan (PDF – 3.2MB)



Get involved

To learn more about the work of the Regional Indigenous Facilitator, contact Rhys Collins on 03 8781 7900 or rhys.collins@ppwcma.vic.gov.au.

The project is supported by the PPWCMA, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.