Working on Country

Working on Country funded projects - Vic

Projects in Victoria

Budj Bim environment and heritage rangers program

Budj Bim Rangers collecting grass seeds

Budj Bim Rangers collecting grass seeds

Copyright: Matthew Butt

During a volcanic eruption, the Gunditjmara witnessed an important creation being, Budj Bim, reveal himself in the landscape. As the lava flowed from Mt Eccles to the sea, it changed the drainage pattern of the region, producing the lava flows and extensive wetlands.

The flat undulating plains are characterised by stony rises, grasslands, manna gum woodlands and an intricate network of basalt outpourings that have resulted in a complex wetlands system. This complex system reveals the ingenious methods of the Gunditjmara people who channelled water flows and systematically harvested eels and fish to ensure a year round supply of food. The area is listed as a National Heritage Landscape for its Indigenous values and supports a number of threatened plant and animal species. The area is owned and managed by the Winda Mara Aboriginal Corporation on behalf of the Gunditjmara people.

Through Working on Country, the Winda Mara Corporation employs a team of Aboriginal rangers to protect the natural and cultural values and to provide a range of environmental services across an area of 2,500 ha. Activities include revegetation, threatened species monitoring, weed and pest mapping and control, and protection of heritage sites. In recognition of their positive contribution to the environment in the Glenelg Hopkins region, the ranger team were awarded the Glenelg Hopkins CMA Annual Environmental Award in 2011.

The rangers work plan and activity is supported by the Gunditjmara elders and community.

Yorta Yorta Caring for Country Ranger Program managed by Parks Victoria

Yorta Yorta Ramsar wetlands

Yorta Yorta Ramsar wetlands

Photo: Rob Walter

Traditional lands of the Yorta Yorta Nation cover the area now known as the Murray-Goulburn region. The Yorta Yorta Caring for Country Ranger Program is operating across approximately 36,415 hectares of this country and in and around the Barmah-Millewa State Forest. This forest is part of one of the largest river red gum forests in the world and contains an internationally recognised Ramsar listed wetland. The National Parks across the Yorta Yorta people's traditional country have recently been declared as jointly managed between Parks Victoria and the Yorta Yorta Nation.

The project draws on a partnership between Parks Victoria and the Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation. The Working on Country funded rangers are employed through Parks Victoria who provide organisational support and park management expertise. This team of Aboriginal rangers work to protect and manage their country's natural and cultural resources. The rangers are involved in a wide variety of activities including weed control and environmental monitoring as well as protecting cultural sites and significant species. Rangers are also training in conservation and land management.