The development of the Victorian traditional owner cultural fire strategy was funded by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to support traditional owner rights and interests in reintroducing cultural fire to the landscape. Facilitated by the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations, the project was led by Victorian traditional owner fire knowledge holders from around the state. The strategy development was overseen by a project control group, where representatives of partners met to receive information from the Victorian traditional owner cultural fire knowledge group about what was working on the ground and to ensure the effectiveness of the institutional arrangements for strategy development.

Key findings:

  • European colonisation has significantly impacted upon Traditional Owner rights and obligations to care for Country, including the practice of cultural burning. The departure from cultural burning practices has resulted in significant ecological changes to Victoria’s natural environment and increased risks to life and property.
  • The purpose of the Victorian Traditional Owner Cultural Fire Strategy is to reinvigorate cultural fire through Traditional Owner led practices across all types of Country and land tenure; enabling Traditional Owners to heal Country and fulfil their rights and obligations to care for Country.
  • Burning is a cultural responsibility. Traditional Owners lead the development and application of fire practice on Country; the responsibilities and authority of Traditional Owners are recognised and respected.
  • Country is managed holistically. Traditional Owners manage Country holistically to address multiple values and objectives, healing both Country and culture.
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