State of the Parks Fourth Edition

Aboriginal cultural heritage is the legacy of Victoria’s Aboriginal peoples, and is expressed in both tangible places and objects, and intangible values. Protecting this cultural heritage is a priority for Parks Victoria, as it is not only essential to Aboriginal people’s identity and wellbeing, but also a fundamental part of Victoria’s heritage overall. 

Parks Victoria recognises the value and importance of working closely with Traditional Owners to manage parks and reserves in a culturally sensitive and ecologically sympathetic way. Parks Victoria is working with Traditional Owner groups to establish and implement joint management plans that ensure that Traditional Owner knowledge, combined with western knowledge, form the basis of ongoing park management. 

Parks Victoria’s Managing Country Together framework aims to provide both practical and symbolic recognition of Traditional Owner rights, underpin enduring partnerships with Traditional Owners and strengthen sector capacity in joint protected area and cultural heritage management.


Representation of Traditional Owner cultural places in parks

Status and management of key threats to Traditional Owner cultural places

Partnerships to protect and conserve Traditional Owner culture

Condition and management outcomes for Aboriginal cultural places 



Key factors influencing management effectiveness (other than resourcing)

Improved management actions

  • Improved understanding of cultural heritage management plans, permits and other tools.
  • Organisational commitment to stronger partnerships with Traditional Owners.
  • Appointment of cultural heritage officers.
  • Development of Managing Country Together Framework.



  • Limited knowledge or monitoring of significant sites.
  • Limited awareness and understanding of intangible Aboriginal cultural values and how best to protect them.
  • Lack of proactive management and Traditional Owner engagement.


Future focus

  • Expand employment opportunities for Traditional Owners and other Aboriginal Victorians.
  • Support increased participation of Traditional Owners in park management decisions.
  • Improve tools, procedures and knowledge for managing Aboriginal cultural heritage.
  • Work with Traditional Owners to undertake Aboriginal cultural heritage surveys to identify significant sites.


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