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 or phone (03) 5152 5100.

The current GLaWAC Board of Directors are:
Troy McDonald (Chair),
Glenys Watts,
Paula Morgan,
Nick Johnson,
Ewan Waller (Independent Director), &
Libby Dummett (Independent Director)

Elders Council

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.

Board Sub-committees

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)

Want to find out more about GLaWAC? Take a listen to what Grattan has to say.

Our Logos

Showcase 1

Shield Logo

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.

Showcase 2

On Country

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.