Posted on 23/03/2016 by Phillip Island Nature Parks

Nature Parks welcomes visiting Rangers 

Land management, tourism operations, cultural heritage, and reconciliation were all central themes during last week’s three day visit to Phillip Island by a group of Gunaikurnai and Parks Victoria rangers from East Gippsland. 

Gunaikurnai People are the traditional custodians of Gippsland, and their strong connection with the land was recognised in the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010. In a first for Victoria, the Act provided for Joint Management of the 10 parks and reserves on their land by Gunaikurnai People and Parks Victoria. 

“This visit provides an opportunity to further develop the existing relationship between Phillip Island Nature Parks, the Gunaikurnai People, and Parks Victoria through an exchange of expertise and experiences”, said Peter Cleary, Nature Parks ranger and event coordinator. 

The visiting rangers toured many of the island’s conservation areas and reserves, and experienced the tourism operations at the Penguin Parade and Koala Conservation Centre first-hand. 

“This gave our visitors the chance to see how the Nature Parks manages cultural heritage sites in our visitor impacting environment, as well as how we provide information, and interpret and manage cultural considerations”.    

The Gunaikurnai and Parks Victoria rangers viewed the Nature Parks’ Reconciliation Action Plan, and also met with some of the traditional custodians of Phillip Island, the Boon Wurrung. 

Mr Cleary went on to say: “We have been privileged to welcome the Gunaikurnai and Parks Victoria rangers to Phillip Island, and gain a greater understanding of their Joint Management goals, as well as an awareness of the Gunaikurnai Whole of Country plan and proposed outcomes”.  

“Importantly, we have had the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the rich cultural heritage of the Gunaikurnai rangers and managers. We hope to continue to grow the rapport between the Nature Parks, the Gunaikurnai People and Parks Victoria, and enhance the exchange of cultural knowledge”. 

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