Womin-dji-ka (Welcome)

October 24th 2013 was a historic day for Dja Dja Wurrung people as the registration of the Indigenous Land Use Agreement took place recognising us as the Traditional Owners of our Country.

Registration was the final administrative formality in the procedure.  We were confident that it would all go through and have been planning a big celebration to take place in Rosalind Park in Bendigo on November 15.

The Indigenous Land Use Agreement between Dja Dja Wurrung and the State was registered by the National Native Title Tribunal.  As an independent authority they have a rigorous approval procedure and thoroughly examined all aspects of the process before approving the Agreement.

Everyone can be confident that the negotiations were conducted properly and celebrate this agreement between the State and the Dja Dja Wurrung People that will provide benefits for both the Dja Dja Wurrung and the wider community in terms of regional economic development.

The Agreement means that we will be finally recognised as the Traditional Owners of our Country and we will now have a say when the State considers proposed activities on Crown land on our Country.

Having our rights recognised will enable us to strengthen, promote and protect our culture.

It marks the start of new and permanent relationship with Dja Dja Wurrung and the State of Victoria.

The Agreement is the full and final settlement of the Dja Dja Wurrung's native title claims and means that Dja Dja Wurrung are legally recognised as the Traditional Owners for our Country.

Historically significnt land at Franklinford and Carisbrook will be transferred to the Dja Dja Wurrung.

We will be able to work with the State to manage six parks and reserves, enabling us to fulfill our cultural obligations to look after this Country and preserve our culture, not only for future generations of Dja Dja Wurrung People but for all Victorians.

The parks are Hepburn Regional Park, Greater Bendigo National Park, Kooyoora State Park, Wehla Nature Conservation Reserve, Paddy's Ranges State Park and part of Kara Kara National Park.

We are looking forward to working with the State to create strategies to promote greater Dja Dja Wurrung participation in natural resource management.

And we will receive a financial package of 9.65 million with funding to enable the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation to meet its settlement obligations and advance our cultural and economic aspirations.

Now all the legal pocedures are over, we can start finalising the details and make sure this is a celebration to remember.  We want to share the celebration and our culture with as many people as possible.

GRAHAM ATKINSON

Chairperson

Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation