Waterways of the West – Traditional Owner Engagement Project

The Waterways of the West – Traditional Owner Engagement Project aims to link community environmental groups based in the Maribyrnong and Werribee catchments with the cultural knowledge and land management expertise of the region’s Traditional Owners.

Supported by the Victorian Government, the project will support representatives from two Registered Aboriginal parties (RAPs) – Wurundjeri Woi wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation and Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation – to deliver a variety of cultural and educational services and knowledge sharing events to volunteer natural resource management groups based in the Maribyrnong and Werribee catchment areas.

The program aims to deliver a greater understanding and appreciation of local Aboriginal history and connection to Country among volunteers, build and enhance the relationships and collaboration between Landcare and Friends groups and Traditional Owners, build knowledge of cultural safety and demonstrate the importance of engaging with Registered Aboriginal Parties.

Please note: the following information and associated application process relates only to activities with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation.

The format and roll out of activities with Wurundjeri Woi wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation are being developed and will be announced soon. To be informed when this information is available, subscribe to the Port Phillip & Westernport CMA’s Landcare enews.

Traditional Owner engagement activities with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation

Throughout 2020-21, eligible volunteer natural resource management groups can undertake a cultural heritage activity to be delivered by Wadawurrung representative.

The activities will contribute to improving the group’s cultural heritage and/or would align with an existing activity of the group. All costs for the cultural and education services provided by Wadawurrung will be covered by the Port Phillip & Westernport CMA with the support of the Victorian Government.

Activities may include but are not limited to:

  • Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony as part of an existing event
  • Cultural heritage educational session (online or on Country)
  • On Country event, such as a food and fibre talk, walk on Country
  • An Elder attending a committee event such as a group meeting.

Click here for further information on the education and cultural services that can provided by Wadawurrung.

Flexibility over the type of delivery is also encouraged as coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions are likely to prohibit many types of public gatherings. A willingness to participate in online activities will be looked upon favourably. All physical events need to be help on Wadawurrung Country. Groups are also encouraged to contact the PPWCMA to discuss other ideas for activities, collaboration opportunities and any event management considerations.

Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in the Waterways of the West – Traditional Owner Engagement Project, the applicant group must have an environmental/natural resource management focus and be based in the Werribee or Maribyrnong catchments and conduct activities on defined RAP land.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Landcare groups or networks
  • Friends groups registered and/or supported by a council/Parks Victoria
  • Committee of management
  • Environmental networks such as Landcare networks
  • School/community groups undertaking an environmental awareness or other environmentally focused activity.
Registered Aboriginal Party boundaries in the Port Phillip and Western Port region.
For a searchable, online version go to https://achris.vic.gov.au/weave/wca.html

Application process

Expressions of Interest (EOIs) are currently open and can be submitted via the form below. There is no closing date, however the PPWCMA and Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation are planning to commence events from November 2020 onwards. As part of the EOI process, applicants will need to provide the following information:

  • A brief outline of their event
  • Suggested dates/timing (activities need to be delivered in the 2020-21 financial year)
  • How many people will be engaged
  • The proposed format and how it be run if a physical gathering is not possible (eg. online)
  • How the group expects the event will improve their cultural knowledge, support reconciliation and deliver their future NRM outcomes.

For more information please read the Waterways of the West: Knowledge Sharing with Wadawurrung fact sheet.

Enquiries

If you have any questions or wish to discuss your ideas before submitting you EOI, please Barry Kennedy, Regional Landcare Coordinator for the Port Phillip and Western Port region, on 0447 821 559 or barry.kennedy@ppwcma.vic.gov.au.