The Port Phillip & Westernport CMA recognises that the Traditional Owners of the region have an ancient and continuing connection to Country and retain traditional knowledge about caring for land, water and biodiversity.
The PPWCMA’s vision is for Traditional Owners to be strongly connected to their Country, knowledgeable and active in traditional practices, and engaged, respected and influential in the planning and implementation of natural resource management for this region.
There are three Traditional Owner groups with Registered Aboriginal Party (RAP) status in this region – Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation (Bunurong), Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation (Wadawurrung) and Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation (Wurundjeri).
The PPWCMA’s commitment to Aboriginal participation
The PPWCMA is committed to supporting Traditional Owners and Aboriginal communities, organisations and individuals to retain and enhance their connection to Country. The PPWCMA has an Indigenous Participation Plan in place and has committed to:
- Communicating and interacting regularly with Aboriginal organisations of the region
- Supporting Indigenous people to document and protect their rights to traditional knowledge
- Enhancing the capacity of Aboriginal communities to conserve and protect land, water and biodiversity
- Supporting Indigenous people to re-learn, practice and pass on their traditional knowledge
- Involving other partners in PPWCMA Aboriginal partnership activities and communicating to them the significant and mutual benefit of engaging Aboriginal organisations in planning, decision making and action.
To achieve these outcomes, the PPWCMA ensures that all of its projects include acknowledgement of Traditional Owners and, where appropriate, there is strong engagement of Traditional Owners in the planning and roll-out of each project.
The PPWCMA also ensures all Board and staff members make active contributions to the implementation of the Indigenous Participation Plan.
The PPWCMA has worked to develop formal partnership agreements with the region’s Traditional Owner organisations. The agreements formally confirm the PPWCMA’s commitment to work with Aboriginal communities to increase their participation in natural resource management and sustainable agriculture.
Together, we will pursue projects that increase the number of Indigenous people caring for Country and develop events and activities to connect the region’s Traditional Owners with their cultural knowledge.