Mt Hotham sits on the traditional lands of the Gunaikurnai and Taungurung people, who have strong connections to their culture and Country stretching back tens of thousands of years.
We are committed to genuinely partner, and meaningfully engage, with Victoria’s Traditional Owners and Aboriginal communities to support the protection of Country, the maintenance of spiritual and cultural practices and their broader aspirations in the 21st century and beyond.
The RMB acknowledges the important and unique relationship that Traditional Owners have with the Victorian Alpine Resorts. The Gunaikurnai and Taungurung are the First People affiliated with Mt Hotham, who have fostered a strong cultural connection with the resort.
The rights of these Traditional Owners have been formalised via a Native Title Agreement and a Recognition and Settlement Agreement with the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC), both of which came into effect in October 2010, and a Recognition and Settlement Agreement (RSA) with the Taungurung Land and Waters Council that came into effect in August 2020. Any initiatives proposed in areas encompassed by these agreements must comply with their associated development requirements, providing opportunities to foster strong partnerships in the joint management of country.
The RMB also recognises the value of partnering with Traditional Owners to manage the natural resources within their agreement areas, effectively leveraging their knowledge of country and associated ecosystems. In particular, the Taungurung RSA includes a Natural Resource Agreement that ensures its people are provided with: the opportunity to participate with the State in the design, development and decision making of natural resource management policies, programs and management plans relevant to the agreement area; employment opportunities within the natural resource management field; and exploration of the incorporation of Taungurung traditional practices associated with natural resource management.
In 2020, DELWP released Pupangarli Marnmarnepu, its Aboriginal Self-Determination Reform Strategy. This is a five-year strategy, founded on cultural authority, that sets the strategic direction, outcomes and priorities for DELWP to respond to Aboriginal self-determination. Consistent with this strategy, the RMB will form partnerships with Traditional Owners based on mutual respect that will enable improved management of the resort. In alignment with the ARSP, the RMB is also committed to developing partnership plans with both the Gunaikurnai and Taungurung that will identify associated collaboration and development opportunities like the exploration of new tourism experiences, cultural assets and interpretive information and signage.