Our Country is the land, the rivers and the ocean, the people and the stories, the past and the future. All of it is connected. All of it is important to us. Country heals us and connects us to our ancestors, our culture and our history…
As Gunaikurnai, we see our land (Wurruk), waters (Yarnda), air (Watpootjan) and every living thing as one.
All things come from Wurruk, Yarnda and Watpootjan and they are the spiritual life-giving resources, providing us with resources and forming the basis of our cultural practices.
We have a cultural responsibility to ensure that all of it is looked after.
The GLaWAC On Country team plays an active role in ensuring the protection, preservation, rehabilitation and sustainable use of our Country as guided by the Gunaikurnai Whole of Country Plan.
Camping on Country
Under the Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA), Gunaikurnai Members do not have to obtain a permit or licence, or pay a fee to camp, fish, take game or hunt, or gather firewood on land and waters where we have native title.
This only applies to public camping grounds and areas where we have native title, not privately owned or operated camping grounds or caravan parks.
If the public camping grounds is one that requires you to use a booking system, Gunaikurnai members will still need to be part of that system. This means you must book the campsite, even though you do not pay a camping fee.
You will also have to comply with camping rules and regulations, such as cleaning up and taking all your camping gear with you when you leave.
The permit, licence and fee exemptions only apply to Gunaikurnai Members as they are the native title holders. Therefore, non-Gunaikurnai spouses and partners are still required to have a permit or licence and pay the relevant fees.
Our Country is diverse and fertile. It includes the southern slopes of Victoria’s alpine ranges and the grassy plains that sit at their feet.
We have isolated beaches and temperate forests, and our lakes and coastal lagoons form the largest navigable network of inland waterways in Australia and are host to internationally significant wetlands.
Our Sea Country is equally important, with a huge diversity of marine life that supports rich tourism and fishing industries.
We welcome visitors to Country on a journey of learning and respecting.
Whether visiting one of our 14 joint managed parks and reserves or travelling the Bataluk Trail, you will be introduced to many aspects of Gunaikurnai life.
The more time you spend and the more places you visit, the greater appreciation and understanding of Gunaikurnai Country and culture you’ll gain.