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Friends of the Earth Melbourne

These grants were approved under our previous grants policy
Rural and regional Victoria Initiate best practice co-management in Victorian national parks
Supporting Indigenous Victoria Support Yorta Yorta family groups to negotiate and implement a co-management agreement
Building organisational capacity Build Yorta Yorta’s organisational capacity to negotiate and implement an ecological management framework with government
Extending opportunity Provide lasting socio-economic outcomes for Yorta Yorta people from employment in park management and associated Indigenous business enterprises
Collaboration and partnership Friends of the Earth, Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Parks Victoria


  • Project: Yorta Yorta Informed Consent for National Parks on Country
  • Amount: $81,220 (total)
  • Year(s) Funded: 2008 and 2009

Yorta Yorta succeeds in creating Victoria's first jointly managed national park

HMSTrust funding supported the Yorta Yorta people to negotiate Victoria’s first management framework with government.

Barmah National Park community meeting.

“HMSTrust’s support enabled Yorta Yorta and Friends of the Earth to access resources to drive the consultation process, and assisted in creating the Yorta Yorta Traditional Owner Land Management Board which allows Indigenous people a say in how their country is managed.”
Sam Cossar-Gilbert, Friends of the Earth Red Gum Forest Campaigner.

  • Barmah National Park and the adjoining Millewa Forest in NSW form the world’s largest river red gum forest. The complex ecology of the land is closely linked to the Murray River, creating a diverse natural habitat for a variety of wildlife.
  • In November 2010, the Victorian Government and Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation (YYNAC) signed a traditional landowner agreement to create joint management over Barmah National Park. The State and YYNAC became equal partners in the care of the park’s lands and waters.
  • A negotiation framework included agreements to: deal with the working relationship between YYNAC and various arms of government; enable the Yorta Yorta to build their capacity to take on new joint management functions; extend the lands and waters that would come under joint management.
  • The 16 family groups of the Yorta Yorta people could negotiate on an equal footing with key stakeholders including government and environmental groups. A Family Group Coordinator was appointed to ensure timely flow of information and informed consent between family groups and YYNAC representatives.
  • A genealogical database of 3,000 Yorta Yorta descendants was produced, and membership of YYNAC grew due to the group’s increased profile.