Landmark native title deal approved

THE traditional Indigenous owners of land which includes Bendigo have been legally recognised in an historic native title deal.

The native title settlements, which were signed by the state government in March, were approved by federal law in October.

Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation director Graham Atkinson said it was a proud moment for his community.

"This enables us to strengthen, promote, protect and preserve our culture. It took a lot of negotiating to get to this point. Both the state government and our negotiating team worked hard to achieve the best outcomes," Mr Atkinson said. 

He said it was important for the Dja Dja Wurrung people to remain connected to the land because it held cultural and spiritual ties. 

"We have registered cultural sites on this land, it is essential for those to survive. My ancestors never conceded our land when they were removed from it.

"Through perseverance this settlement has been achieved," Mr Atkinson said. 

The agreement creates a partnership between the state government and the Dja Dja Wurrung people, with both parties jointly managing the six national parks and reserves that fall within the agreed area. 

The settlement is the first of its kind under the 2010 Traditional Owner Settlement Act.

There will be an official ceremony on Friday November 15 from 12-2pm at Rosalind Park, Bendigo.

HISTORIC: Dja Dja Wurrung directors Graham Atkinson and Ron Kerr Jr signed landmark native title settlements in March. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

HISTORIC: Dja Dja Wurrung directors Graham Atkinson and Ron Kerr Jr signed landmark native title settlements in March. Picture: CONTRIBUTED