Gippsland Lakes Reserve

Tatungalung Country

Welcome to the Gippsland Lakes Reserve at Raymond Island

Gunaikurnai camped on this Island, which they called Gragin… it was particularly important for collecting swan eggs, and evidence of scar trees, burial sites and artefact scatters have been found in the area. It is in a strategic location in the lagoon system, providing a line of sight to many of the other important places on the water. Our old people would have used this place to keep an eye on what was going on in the surrounding area.
— Gunaikurnai Whole of Country Plan

The waters of the island remain important to Gunaikurnai for fishing, collecting mussels, catching eels, hunting animals, collecting swan eggs, and gathering various plants for food and medicine.

Raymond Island offers an important opportunity within the joint managed parks to interpret Gunaikurnai cultural interactions with the marine and coastal landscape. The foreshore and forests are rich with materials for activities such as weaving baskets and making canoes, and the island contains a number of archaeological sites.

Gippsland Lakes Reserve at Raymond Island is one of the ten jointly managed parks and reserves within Gippsland. 
The Joint Management Agreement recognises the fact that the Gunaikurnai people hold Native Title and maintain a strong connection to Country. As custodians of the land, they are the rightful people who speak for their Country. 
These parks and reserves are cultural landscapes that continue to be part of Gunaikurnai living culture.

Connecting to Country

Meet Gunaikurnai Cultural Ranger Harley Finn.

Harley loves looking after the Gippsland Lakes Reserve and the opportunity to care for Country as his Elders and Ancestors have done before him.

“To work on my Country, I’ve been waiting for this for years, I wake up every day loving what I do.”

Take a listen to learn more about Harley’s journey to connect with, and heal Country.