GLaWAC – Who we are
That the Gunaikurnai community is proud of the way that we represent and include the mob in achieving broad respect for our culture, for the protection and healing of our land and to gain genuine economic independence.
– GLaWAC Corporate Vision
The Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) is the Registered Aboriginal Party that represents the Gunaikurnai people, the Traditional Owners of our Country, as determined by the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council under the Aboriginal Heritage Act, 2006.
GLaWAC was established in 2007 in preparation for the historic settlement between our people and the State of Victoria and was legally recognised by the Federal Court of Australia under the Traditional Owners Settlement Act in 2010.
We are the Prescribed Body Corporate (PBC) for the Gunaikurnai people and claim area, as outlined in the agreement, providing joint management of 10 parks and reserves within the State. We have a membership of more than 600 Traditional Owners, all of whom have proven their ancestral links to one of 25 Apical Ancestors registered in the Native Title Consent Determination.
The map shows the current area appointed to GLaWAC as the RAP, together with the traditional lands of the five clans of Gunaikurnai as represented by Alfred Howitt in 1880.
Board of Directors
The Board is responsible for overseeing the running of GLaWAC on behalf of all members and make decisions about the running of the corporation. There is a minimum of six and a maximum of ten Directors on the Board at any given time, with up to two independent or specialist non-member Directors appointed alongside Directors who are members of the corporation.
The Board is seeking community members to participate in four Board subcommittees: Native Title and Cultural Heritage; Economic Development; Audit Risk and Finance; and Our Country.
For further information please contact Kyla Di Fiore by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (03) 5152 5100.
The current GLaWAC Board of Directors are:
Troy McDonald (Chair),
Ewan Waller (Independent Director), &
Libby Dummett (Independent Director)
The Elders’ Council comprises Elders who are members of GLaWAC and appointed by the descendants of each identified Apical Ancestor. The Elders’ Council come together twice a year and provide critical cultural leadership to the organisation. The Elders will also be brought together for events and when cultural guidance is required. GLaWAC acknowledges the contribution of the current and our past Elders’ Council.
The current Elders’ Council members are:
Aunty Lena Morris (Chair),
Aunty Beryl Booth,
Aunty Charmaine Singleton,
Aunty Deanna Campbell,
Aunty Diann Hurren,
Aunty Fay Voss,
Aunty Glenda Thorpe,
Aunty Glenys Watts,
Aunty Gwen Atkinson,
Aunty Gwendoline McGregor,
Aunty Julie Mongta,
Aunty Lee-Anne Eddington,
Aunty Marg Donnelly,
Aunty Maria Harrison,
Aunty Marianne Atkinson,
Aunty Marjorie Thorpe,
Aunty Noretta Knight,
Aunty Olive Stevens,
Aunty Shirley Foster, &
Uncle Russell Mullett.
GLaWAC’s Board sub-committees provide timely knowledge, advice and recommendations to support the Board and management across a number of key areas.
Board Sub-committee’s include:
Our Country (OCSC)
Native Title Cultural Heritage (NTCHSC)
Economic Development (EDSC)
Audit, Risk & Finance (ARFSC)
How we work
Our Role & Vision
The role of the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) is to further the aspirations of the Gunaikurnai Traditional Owners and Native Title Holders through the implementation of the Gunaikurnai native title settlement agreements and the provision of high-quality policy advice.
Our work provides strategic leadership by developing and leading key initiatives; and to continuously improve the capacity, integrity and independence of the Gunaikurnai. We work under the guidance of the Board of Directors and Elders Council to represent all Gunaikurnai people in native title, cultural heritage, land, water and natural resource management and related employment aspirations and issues.
Respect – We respect our Elders, past and present, and the journey they have travelled to bring justice today.
Encourage – We encourage and value leadership by example, creativity and new ideas.
Service – We serve the good of all GunaiKurnai people.
Persistence – We are persistent in our journey towards self-determination and social justice.
Empathy – We listen to understand all views before judgement and decision-making.
Courage – We demonstrate courage and integrity in all we do.
Teamwork – We encourage and value teamwork
Want to find out more about GLaWAC? Take a listen to what Grattan has to say.
The black and white shield logo of the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) was designed by GunaiKurnai man, Steaphan Paton, to represent the GunaiKurnai people.
The logo depicts a lowered shield with traditional Gunaikurnai markings; the lowering of the shield is symbolic that the fight is finished, and talks can occur. The shield’s markings are of a man talking to another man with input from the women. This discourse is about family, everyone having a say and working together. This is a common philosophy or wisdom that has been passed down from Gunaikurnai ancestors through teaching. The word dhuna is Gunai for ‘speak’, the word on the right wanggan means ‘hear’. This represents the idea that whoever speaks will be heard.
The colourful On Country logo was designed by respected Gunai Elder Rita Watkins. Aunty Rita Watkins was a foundation member of the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) and Elders Council. Aunty Rita was a signatory to the GunaiKurnai Settlement Agreement with the State of Victoria. Her daughter Glenys Watts said her mum loved life and being on Country. The design represents our rights as GunaiKurnai custodians to protect the land and waters of Gippsland. Borun the Pelican surrounds and protects the People, Mother Earth, the Waterways and the Environment. The blue wren is the totem representing the GunaiKurnai people.
This logo is used in conjunction with the Shield Logo for all of GLaWAC’s On Country activities.