30/05/2016 – Victorian Traditional Owners have lodged a native title claim over Gariwerd National Park
Community meetings were held late last year for all Traditional Owners who claim rights
and interests in the park. At the meetings, the groups decided to come together and form a
joint claim as ‘The Gariwerd Native Title Group’.
The Traditional Owners who claim rights and interests in the park are represented by the
Barengi Gadjin Land Council, Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owner Aboriginal Corporation
Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation.
The Chairs of each of these Corporations, Jennifer Beer, Denise Lovett and Jamie Lowe
issued a joint statement saying: ‘Gariwerd is a special place for all of us. It forms the heart of
many of our shared creation stories and is rich in Aboriginal heritage with over 80% of
Victoria’s rock art sites. It’s vital that this claim is successful so that we, as the Traditional
Owners, can play a real role in protecting our heritage for everyone to
This is the first native title claim over the Grampians and it is the result of meticulous
historical research proving the continuous connection of each of the groups to the park.
The claim covers 1672 square km of Crown land.
The paperwork was lodged with the Federal Court today and the Traditional Owners will
seek to meet with the State government to discuss settlement options.
If successful, Traditional Owners will have the right to hunt, camp, fish and care for their
traditional Country. They will also have the right to be consulted about any future
developments in the Park.
The claim does not affect anyone else’s existing rights. The public will still be able to access
and enjoy the parks in the same ways they always have. Their rights and interests are
Native Title Services Victoria is representing the three groups in their negotiations with the
State. The claim means that nearly 60 per cent of the State is now covered by claims and
settlements and furthers NTSV’s goal to resolve native title in Victoria by the end of next