Position Opening – Sea Country Guardian (IPA)


JOB TITLE: Sea Country Guardian (IPA)
LOCATION: Warrnambool, Victoria
TERM: 1.0 FTE full-time, until 30 June 2024, subject to Govt. funding
SALARY: $65 000 – $70 000 per annum
REPORTS TO: Sea Country Manager


The Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation (EMAC) is a Registered Native Title Prescribed Body Corporate (RNTBC) established under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and registered as a corporation under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders) Act 2006 (CATSI Act).

EMAC was established in 2011 following a positive Native Title consent determination by the Federal Court. This determination granted rights over an area known as PART B, spanning from Deen Maar (Lady Julia Percy Island) in the south to Dunkeld in the north. It is shared with the Western Gunditjmara Native Title Holders, represented by the Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation.

In March 2023, a second positive Native Title Determination expanded EMAC’s jurisdiction, covering an extended area

In March 2023, a second positive Native Title Determination expanded EMAC’s jurisdiction, covering an extended area from Yambuk to Aireys Inlet in the southwest, reaching Middle Creek and Ararat in the north, and returning south to Dunkeld.

Eastern Maar peoples are those descendants, including by adoption, of the following persons:

• King of Port Fairy and Eliza; Old Jack (father of John Dawson); Charlie and Alice (parents of Albert Austin); Samuel Robinson and Mary Caramut; Lizzie (mother of Frank Clarke); Robert and Lucy (parents of Alice Dixon); Barney Minimalk; Nellie Whiturboin; Louisa (mother of William Rawlings) and Richard Sharp;

and who:

• either identify as being from the eastern domain of the Maar-speaking people and are recognised as being from the eastern domain by the Eastern Maar people
• or otherwise identify as Maar, Gunditjmara, Tjap Wurrung, Peek Whurrung, Keeray Wooroong (Kirrae Whurrung), Kuurn Kopan Noot, Yarro Waetch (Tooram Tribe), Djargurd Wurrung, Gulidjan and/or Gadubanud and are recognised as being from the eastern domain by the Eastern Maar people.

EMAC is a formally recognized Registered Aboriginal Party (RAP) responsible for protecting and managing cultural heritage. The RAP boundaries extend beyond the Native Title-recognized boundaries, including Winchelsea in the east and reaching the furthest point of Landsborough in the north.

As the representative body, EMAC advocates for the collective group, advancing their native title rights, protecting cultural heritage, providing policy advice, and leading key initiatives aligned with the rights, aspirations, and assertions of the EMAC community. They actively strive to enhance the cultural and economic capacity and independence of Eastern Maar citizens by pursuing and implementing their economic and social aspirations, notably through the Victorian Registered Aboriginal Party regime.


This is one of two new Sea Country Guardian positions which will support EMAC’s role in managing marine, coastal and island places. The position will combine traditional and contemporary knowledge through partnerships with research organisations, the Government, and other Traditional Owner groups to collaboratively manage and protect the sea Country.

The Eastern Maar Sea Country Guardians will deliver marine and coastal conservation activities, cultural heritage management activities, and support for Country community activities. These guardian positions will suit members of the Aboriginal community who have a strong appreciation for Eastern Maar Sea Country, land management and cultural practices, enjoy teamwork and are comfortable on the water.

This position will focus on Sea Country west of Yambuk and around Deen Maar Island which is proposed to become an Indigenous Protected Area (IPA). It is within the Part B Native Title Determination area (shared Country) and will work in partnership with Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation (GMTOAC). Engagement with the Eastern Maar community will inform the planning and development of the IPA.


• Collaborative Planning and Coordination:
– Work closely with other members of the Biocultural Landscapes Division and GMTOAC’s IPA Development Coordinator/ Sea Country Ranger to assist with the planning and coordination of works across Sea Country.

Stakeholder Engagement and Relationship Building:
– Work co-operatively with GMTOAC and other agencies to form and nurture strong working relationships between agencies and Eastern Maar community.

Strategic Planning and Community Involvement:
– Developing, with community, board and staff input, agreed and prioritised priority focus areas for EMAC’s Sea Country strategic and operational planning, including key areas and species of cultural significance.
– Promoting inclusion of Eastern Maar values in Sea Country planning and management and supporting and hosting events to promote involvement from Traditional Owners on Country. Supporting reconnection of community with Sea Country, to identify values, concerns and interests around current and future management.

• Cultural Knowledge Sharing and Awareness:
– Support the sharing and documentation of traditional knowledge and cultural practices between community, families, Elders and youth (whilst considering ICIP).
– Build awareness and increase community knowledge and understanding of Sea Country.

On-Ground Activities and Communication:
– Work with agencies and others in the delivery of on-ground activities where required e.g. cultural heritage management, pest plant and animal control and research.
– Help develop communication materials to explain and provide information on IPAs and Sea Country.

Safety and Advisory Role:
– Promote responsible work practices to ensure a healthy and safe work environment while on Country.
– Providing advice on opportunities, challenges and issues related to the management of Sea Country within the EMAC ancestral estate.


• Being aware and adhere to The Privacy Act, OH & S Legislation and other relevant legislations.
• Being aware and adhere to EMAC Policy and Procedure manuals.
• Being aware and participating in staff performance reviews.
• Attending all mandatory training as required.
• Performing other duties as may be directed or implied from time to time


• Genuine desire to work on-Country to promote Eastern Maar values and assertions in relation to Sea Country.
• Good written and oral communication skills including the ability to effectively engage and maintain relationships with a range of stakeholders including management, government bodies and community members.
• A genuine commitment to capacity building and ‘water literacy’ amongst EMAC its Board and the community
• Proven ability to show initiative, work collaboratively, prioritise work requirements, consult appropriately and respond to direction.
• Good time management skills with the ability to manage multiple relationships and projects simultaneously.
• Experience in, or a willingness to, undertake natural and cultural resource management activities across Sea Country environments.
• A willingness to undertake professional development and training opportunities.
• An ability to work with a range of community and stakeholder groups to achieve beneficial outcomes.
• An ability to work with others as part of a team.
• Experience in, or a willingness to gain, an understanding of and commitment to Workplace Health and Safety principles.
Sound computer skills and computer literacy.

• Proven planning, problem-solving and analytical skills with the ability to work through issues with moderate complexity and guide and/or coach others in the resolution of problems.
• Demonstrated understanding of the regulatory framework in which EMAC operates.
• Knowledge of Eastern Maar people, Country, culture, values, aspirations and customs and experience working with the Eastern Maar people, community and key organisations and stakeholder groups
• Experience working with Aboriginal people, including a demonstrated ability to communicate and engage sensitively and effectively with Traditional Owner-led communities and organisations.
• Qualifications or experience in land and/or sea management is desirable.


Offers of employment can only be made once all required probity checks have been completed. These
• reference checks.
• The appointment of the successful applicant will be made subject to a satisfactory national police history check. A clear Police Check must be conducted within the last three months.
• Acceptable evidence of their proof of immunisation/vaccination status.
• The incumbent requires the ability to travel regularly for work-related purposes. A current Victorian driver’s licence is essential.
• Proficiency in the use of computer and telecommunications technology.
• A request to conduct probity checks does not guarantee that an offer of employment will be made.


• Hybrid working arrangements available.
• Paid Christmas Break.
• Salary Packaging Benefits.
• Employee Assistance Program.
• Four weeks of annual leave.
• Mentoring, learning and career development opportunities.

• A friendly and supportive culture
• Work-life balance
• Opportunities for career progression
• Opportunity to experience various teams.
• Professional development opportunities


To apply please include in your application a CV/resume and cover letter that addresses why you are the best candidate for this position and how your background, experience and skills align with the Key Selection Criteria

Please ensure your full name is on all attachments and email your application to bansri.dave@easternmaar.com.au

Closing date for applications: COB 27 November 2023

“We will begin conducting interviews as soon as applications for the position are received.”

If you have any queries about the role, please email bansri.dave@easternmaar.com.au

Appointment of the successful applicant will be made subject to a satisfactory national police history check.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are encouraged to apply, but this is not a designated/identified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander appointment.

Read a full description of the position at this link