Our Organisational History
The Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation is a representative body for Dja Dja Wurrung People.
In 2008, through the Corporation, Dja Dja Wurrung People gained Registered Aboriginal Party status to further the fight to be recognised as the Traditional Owners of djandak.
After 15 years of intensive negotiations, the Corporation on behalf of the Dja Dja Wurrung People, and the Victorian Government signed the Recognition and Settlement agreement on 28 March 2013.
The Agreement is a means by which Dja Dja Wurrung tradition and the unique relationship of Dja Dja Wurrung People to djandak are recognised, strengthened, protected, and promoted, for the benefit of all Victorians, now and into the future.
In 2021, we pay respect to our People and begin trading as ‘DJAARA – Balaki Wuka (Giving to community)’. Dja Dja Wurrung People will always be the foundation of the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation.
Recognition and Settlement Agreement
This historic agreement will bring Dja Dja Wurrung People back into the landscape. We will no longer be invisible. We will have the right to access our traditional lands for hunting and ceremonial purposes enabling us to keep our Culture alive and strengthen our connection to our traditional lands and waters.
– Uncle Graham Atkinson, Elder & DDWCAC Chairperson 2004 -2014.
Our Recognition and Settlement Agreement is an important milestone for Dja Dja Wurrung People and the Victorian Government, as they now recognise us as the Traditional Owners of this Country and acknowledge the history of dispersement and dispossession that has affected our People.
Our Agreement allows for continued recognition, through protocols, acknowledgements and Welcomes to Country, and signage on Dja Dja Wurrung Country.
It also provides us with some legal rights to practice Culture, access, and use our land and resources, and to have a say in what happens on our Country. The Agreement gives us Aboriginal title of some of our traditional lands, including the right to actively manage Country. The Agreement is an important starting point for the self-determination of Dja Dja Wurrung, and we now continue to build up the structures and processes that will enable us to make the most of these rights.
Rights. Recognition. Respect!
Land Use Activity Agreement
The Recognition and Settlement Agreement includes a Land Use Activity Agreement (LUAA).
The Land Use Activity Agreement recognises Dja Dja Wurrung Peoples’ rights when the State Government considers proposed activities on Crown land across Dja Dja Wurrung Country. Under the LUAA, there are four categories of land use activity: routine, advisory, negotiation and agreement.
They each have a procedural requirement that must align with our Agreement.
Dhelkunya Dja | Healing Country Plan
Our Dhelkunya Dja (Healing Country) Plan reaffirms our aspirations to care for Country and determines the future of our people, as the Traditional Owners of djandak .
The Dja Dja Wurrung Community Goals for our Country are framed around the following themes.
We affirm that before European colonisation, the natural places within djandak were well known, had a name and song, and were celebrated as part of our Culture. We had an economy; we had a political system, and we had the resources and the means to take care of our community.
In our Dhelkunya Dja Plan we describe the pathways our community has determined it needs to take to rebuild and prosper, now and into the future.
Our Vision is for the health and wellbeing of Dja Dja Wurrung People to be strong and underpinned by our living Culture. For our lands and waters to be in good condition and actively managed to protect our values and to promote the laws, Culture, and rights of all Dja Dja Wurrung People.
Galkangu | Joint Management
Through the Recognition and Settlement Agreement, Galkangu (Joint Management) is the term used to describe the formal partnership arrangement between Djaara (DDWCAC) and the State, where both share their knowledge to manage six Dja Dja Wurrung Parks.
Galkangu recognises Dja Dja Wurrung Peoples’ significant connection to djandak, and with that, have inherited certain rights and responsibilities to care for Country. The goal of Galkangu is to enable Dja Dja Wurrung knowledge and connection to Country to be expressed in the planning and management of the six Dja Dja Wurrung Parks.
To do this, the Dhelkunya Dja Land Management Board (DDLMB) was appointed by the Minister to develop a Joint Management Plan (JMP).
Through Djaara, we work to ensure the Plan is implemented to the best of our ability with our partners; DDLMB, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Parks Victoria, and Dja Dja Wurrung Enterprises Pty. Ltd. (trading as Djandak).
Malamiya | Cultural Heritage
We recognise the importance of our Malamiya (Cultural Heritage) – our significant places and landscapes, our stories and language, our customs and practices and our responsibilities for looking after Country. We take our role as the Registered Aboriginal Party seriously.
Aboriginal artefacts are scattered across djandak, telling of the rituals and practices of our Martiinga kuli. Some of the remains of our Martiinga kuli have been removed, and we are working to bring them home and return them to djandak as they will not be at rest until they are properly returned home.
Our Malamiya is a non-renewable resource, and is recognised, protected, and conserved in Victorian legislation. Malamiya is protected regardless of whether it is on private or public land or previously disturbed or harmed.
We continue to share our understanding and promote awareness and respect of Dja Dja Wurrung Culture through managing and protecting Malamiya.
Through our management of djandak we provide Malamiya assessments, inductions, management plans, compliance, and Land Use Activity Agreement (LUAA) site meetings.
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Djandak, a traditional way of business.
Our business, Djandak (Country), is core to achieving our goals of self-determination and improved community well-being by developing a sustainable economic base.
Through Djandak, we pursue opportunities to develop our individual and collective skills and strengthen our ability to deliver on the aspirations of our Dja Dja Wurrung community without compromising Culture.
Djandak offers “a traditional way of business”. Their qualified and experienced team has access to a wealth of cultural knowledge, enabling Djandak to provide a unique service and innovative solutions to contemporary needs.