Managing Country Together

Aboriginal people have cared for and sustainably managed Victoria’s cultural landscapes for tens of thousands of years. Traditional Owners have both a cultural obligation and a legal right to be custodians of their traditional land and waters, and protect the unique natural and cultural values that they contain.

As manager of over 4 million hectares of Victoria’s parks and reserves, Parks Victoria is proud to have the opportunity to work with Traditional Owners to care for this special Country.

Managing Country Together is how we do this. It is our commitment to strong, meaningful partnerships with Traditional Owners. It is about understanding and respecting Traditional Owner rights and values, taking responsibility for protecting Aboriginal cultural heritage on the parks estate and offering the best support we can to Aboriginal people working in the park management sector.

Through Managing Country Together, we are playing our part to support Aboriginal self-determination. Learn more about the Victorian Government’s commitment to self-determination and improving outcomes for Aboriginal people.

You can recognise Traditional Owners by learning more about the Country, Community and Culture on which you live, work and play. Visit the Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement Map.


NAIDOC Week 2024

Celebrating NAIDOC Week

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia in the first week of July each year (Sunday to Sunday), to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth. You can support and get to know your local Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities through activities and events held across the country. 

Each year NAIDOC Week has a theme that represents current issues important to First Nations peoples. These themes are reflected throughout the years in the different NAIDOC posters.

This year’s theme chosen by the National NAIDOC Committee, is Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud & Proud. The theme honours the enduring strength and vitality of First Nations culture – with fire a symbol of connection to Country, to each other, and to the rich tapestry of traditions that define Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Take a look at the 2024 NAIDOC resources available to download here.


Ground edge axes were highly valued, and were shaped and sharpened with great skill.

Living Proof: Ingenious and sustainable land use practices of Aboriginal people

Cultural heritage is the legacy of Victoria’s Aboriginal societies. It can include the physical evidence of past and present occupation and cultural practices, visible through places and objects like shell middens, rock markings, artefacts, and culturally modified trees.
Yorta Yorta Ranger Bonnie Joachim in Barmah National Park on Yorta Yorta Country

Bonnie Joachim Yorta Yorta Ranger

Bonnie Joachim’s love of caring for her Country was nurtured as a little girl when she would often accompany her father to work in the Barmah National Park. She credits time spent in the park with her dad as inspiration for her work as a Yorta Yorta ranger.

Connecting Junior Rangers to Wadawurrung Country

Junior Rangers and their families will be able to connect to Wadawurrung Country with Parks Victoria’s first Connection to Country Wadawurrung Junior Ranger booklet, developed in partnership with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners.

Song and dance for critically endangered bird on Yorta Yorta Country

When Yorta Yorta woman Sissy Cooper started work on the Icon Species project for the Australasian Bittern, she decided to choreograph a dance about the bird and how it interacts in its environment.
Four cultural heritage rangers walking on Dja Dja Wurrung Country

Woven together by Spirit

For many Victorians, Castlemaine Diggings is synonymous with the gold rush, but the park and its surrounding areas have a history much older and richer than the industry that briefly but dramatically occupied the landscape.
Wadawurrung art on the Portarlington Pier walkway

Wadawurrung Welcome awaits visitors to Portarlington Pier

Visitors to Portarlington Pier will be welcomed onto Wadawurrung Sea Country by a striking 120-metre-long mural featuring original illustrations by 105 Wadawurrung artists.

Ponnun Pulgi - Resting Places - Healing Country Together

The cultural landscapes in the northwest of Victoria are ancient, fragile, and rich in Aboriginal values. These values include vast burial grounds that are succumbing to the impacts of human activity and imported pest.

Rock art of a human-shape figure holding a spear

Protecting Aboriginal Cultural Heritage

As part of the oldest living culture in the world, Aboriginal people have lived throughout Victoria for tens of thousands of years. The landscape holds the memory of these past societies and the story of contemporary Aboriginal peoples through tangible and intangible heritage.
Two uniformed rangers survey a rugged bushland landscape

Partnerships with Traditional Owners

Strong, respectful and empowering partnerships is at the core of how we work with Traditional Owners. Our approach to partnerships recognises the inherent human rights of Aboriginal people.
Ranger Ebonee

Aboriginal Employment and Wellbeing

Caring for Country is the fabric of Aboriginal social, spiritual, economic and overall health and wellbeing. Parks Victoria is committed to being a culturally safe workplace, and supporting Aboriginal people to work in the park management sector.
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