The Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability team is fortunate to work alongside Aboriginal Victorians, who are a vital voice in deepening our understanding of the state’s history. Traditional Owners’ connection to Country, their ancestral land, is of great significance, and the knowledge the Office gains in the collaboration process adds invaluable depth to environmental reporting in Victoria.
The land is a link between all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people's existence - spirituality, culture, language, family, law and identity. Each person is entrusted with the cultural knowledge and responsibility to care for the land they identify with through kinship systems.*
The office is including the aspirations and objectives of the Wurundjeri, Boon Wurrung and Bunurong First Peoples to develop the baseline State of the Yarra and its Parklands report which stems from ground-breaking legislation. The Yarra River Protection (Wilip-gin Birrarung murron) Act 2017 is the nation’s first Act to include Traditional Owner knowledge and to recognise the intertwined connection between culture and river.
The Yarra River is ancestral home to the Wurundjeri, Bunurong and Boon Wurrung. The Yarra River is a spiritually and culturally important living entity to each of these First Peoples.
Dr Katie O’Bryan, Lecturer, Faculty of Law, and Associate, Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Monash University
NAIDOC celebrations are held around Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. All Kulin language groups will meet for their Tanderrum Smoking Ceremony at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Thursday, 12 July, 10am-2pm.
Tanderrum is a ceremony performed by members of the Kulin Nation, which grants foreigners rite of passage through their lands.