The Taungurung sovereign flag.

NEW local jobs are set to be delivered as part of a formal agreement recognising the Taungurung people as Traditional Owners of central Victoria.

The formal agreement between the State Government and the Taungurung people will see 17 new jobs created with the Taungurung Land and Waters Council, including a range of natural resource management roles such as park rangers and field services officers.

Two of the new roles are based in the Taungurung Land and Waters Council’s Broadford office, with applications currently open for a recognition and settlement agreement administration officer and a community programs manager.

With some positions starting this month, the new rangers will work in partnership with Parks Victoria as joint managers of the nine parks and reserves the Taungurung people have Aboriginal Title over, under the Traditional Owner agreement.

The agreement is the outcome of more than three years of negotiations, and covers an area stretching from Rochester and Kyneton in the west to Bright in the east, and Euroa in the north to Kinglake in the south.

The additional resources aim to help ensure the parks and reserves are well looked after so all Victorians can explore that part of the state for years to come.

Signed in 2018, the agreement recognises the Taungurung people’s Traditional Owner rights to access Crown land to hunt, fish, camp, and gather natural resources.

The agreement was negotiated under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010, which allows for out-of-court settlements to recognise the rights of Victorian Traditional Owners.

The agreement has delivered around $26 million to support the Taungurung peoples’ economic and cultural development, participation in natural resource management, and other self-determination initiatives.

It also provides the Taungurung people with an avenue for their culture and connection to country to be supported and promoted.
Taungurung Land and Waters Council chief executive Matthew Burns said while the agreement was to be celebrated, those that paved the way for it were to be acknowledged.

“In celebrating the commencement of our Agreement, we acknowledge the Taungurung Elders and community who have paved the way to our self-determination – a long hard fight to challenge policy and law that tried to deprive us of our Country,” he said.

Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes said the agreement would provide new jobs and vital maintenance and conservation works on Aboriginal Title Lands.

“We stand proudly with the Taungurung People – supporting them to continue to protect and preserve their Traditional Owner rights while creating more jobs in central Victoria,” she said.