Victorian Traditional Owners have been involved in the RFA modernisation process through meetings on Country, roundtables with representatives from Traditional Owner Corporations, ongoing engagement between Traditional Owners and Departmental staff, and Traditional Owner representation on the RFA Reference Group.  

We have heard from Traditional Owners about the need for meaningful partnerships locally and state-wide in forest management and decision making incorporating Traditional Owner values and knowledge.  The importance of upholding cultural obligations to care for Country for future generations and, the right to pursue economic, cultural and social development is clear. 

Modernised RFAs recognise the unique ability of Traditional Owners to care for Country and seek to support forest management that advances self-determination and meaningful partnership.   

Each RFA now clearly recognises the relationship of Traditional Owners with Country including forests. Several new clauses have been incorporated throughout the RFAs that Traditional Owners were involved in drafting that reflect Traditional Owner rights and aspirations.

Modernised RFAs drive: 

  • genuine and meaningful partnership with Traditional Owners to support the protection and management of Country, foster sustainable land, water and forest management practices, and maintain continuation of spiritual and cultural practices;
  • involvement of Traditional Owners in decision making, and the active incorporation of Traditional Owner knowledge when making decisions regarding management of forests; and
  • assessment and evaluation of outcomes relating to matters of importance to Traditional Owners in five-yearly reviews.

Page last updated: 02/04/20