Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation (DJAARA) and Rochester Golf Club unveiled a striking new sign today at the Club’s grounds on Kerlin Lane, in a celebration of the cooperative relationship between the two organisations.
DJAARA and the Golf Club have negotiated to secure irrigation water for the golf course, after the Club had applied for a license to draw irrigation water from the Campaspe River and to install a pipeline from the river to the golf course.
Chair of the DJAARA Board Trent Nelson said he was pleased to unveil the sign, which came about as part of the negotiation.
“This sign recognises Dja Dja Wurrung People as the Traditional Owners of this golf course. It points to our shared intent to move forward together, while acknowledging the horrible historical treatment of Dja Dja Wurrung People,” Mr Nelson said.
“We understand the Club had been in the process of trying to secure irrigation water for 10 years. DJAARA was only notified of the activity in 2021, but through meaningful engagement and goodwill by DJAARA and the Club, we were able to reach a fair and reasonable resolution in 2022.
“I acknowledge that the past year has been particularly challenging for the people of Rochester. We recognise the good hearts at the Golf Club continuing to engage with us as Rochy struggled through the flood events and during the rebuilding stage,” Mr Nelson said.
The opportunity for DJAARA to engage with the Golf Club came about through the Corporation’s 2013 Recognition and Settlement Agreement (RSA) with the State of Victoria.
The Agreement is a way for Dja Dja Wurrung People’s traditional rights to be recognised across Djandak (Dja Dja Wurrung Country).
The RSA sets out the way people need to engage with DJAARA around activities on Crown land. However, the process is not always clear and DJAARA often needs to work with proponents to find the best way forward.
Peter Lawford from the Golf Club said the Rochester Golf Club appreciates the co-operation shown by DJAARA in allowing the club to access vital irrigation water supply.
“The club welcomes the recognition of the Dja Dja Wurrung People as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the golf club sits. The club also acknowledges the atrocities of the past as part of the ongoing co-operation with the Dja Dja Wurrung People,” Mr Lawford said.
Above image: L-R RGC members Peter Anderson, Robert Vise, Lee Hicks (President), DJAARA Board Chair Trent Nelson, RGC Club Captain Chris Eeles, DJAARA staff members Elias Norman and Jim Brooks, RGC member Peter Lawford