Gunditjmara People - History - Recent History

Recent History

From the late 19th century many moved into, or were moved into, the Framlingham Aboriginal Station, a mission outside Warrnambool. In 1987, the Victorian Labor government under John Cain attempted to grant some of the Framlingham State Forest to the trust as inalienable title, however the legislation was blocked by the Liberal Party opposition in the Victorian Legislative Council. However, the federal Labor government under Bob Hawke intervened, passing the Aboriginal Land Act 1987, which gave 1,130 acres (5 km2) of the Framlingham Forest to the Framlingham Trust. Although the title is essentially inalienable, in that it can only be transferred to another Indigenous land trust, the Framlingham Trust has rights to prevent mining on the land, unlike trusts or communities holding native title.

In 1993, the Peek Whurrong speakers of the Dhauwurdwurung (Gunditjmara) Nation purchased the Deen Maar under the auspices of ATSIC for the Framlingham Aboriginal Trust, with the intention that it become an Indigenous Protected Area, it was granted this status in 1999. It is the first IPA in Victoria.

Gunditjmara people from the Lake Condah and surrounding area fiercely fought for the recognition of their traditional owner rights. In 1987 (along with the Framlingham community) received recognition through the Australian Government's Aboriginal Land (Lake Condah and Framlingham Forest) Act 1987.

The Lake Condah Mob launched their Native Title Claim in August 1996 and following eleven years of self determination, the Lake Condah Mob are scheduled to received formal recognition for their Native Title Rights in March 2007.

On 30 March 2007, the Gunditjmara People were recognised by the Federal Court of Australia to be the native title-holders of almost 140,000 hectares of Crown land and waters in the Portland region. On 27 July 2011, together with the Eastern Maar People, the Gunditjmara People were recognised to be the native title-holders of almost 4,000 hectares of Crown land in the Yambuk region, including Lady Julia Percy Island, known to them as Deen Maar.

Through organisations like Winda Mara Aboriginal Corporation and the Gunditjmara Native Title Claimant Group (now the Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation have initiated many important projects that are based on the principles of sustainable development and broader community engagement most notably, the Lake Condah Sustainable Development Project.

The Lake Condah Mob of Gunditjmara people have acquired around 20 square kilometres of properties along the highly significant Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape. The properties features the traditional constructed aquaculture system and sites of permanent settlement. The Gunditjmara's sites of permanent settlement dispel the myth of Gunditjmara being nomadic.

The Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape in this area has been listed as a Heritage Place on the Australian National Heritage List.

Read more about this topic:  Gunditjmara People, History

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