Trust for Nature recognises Victoria’s Traditional Owners’ past and continuing spiritual and cultural connection to this wonderful land, wildlife, fresh water and salt water environments. We share with Victorian Traditional Owners, a deep appreciation for native wildlife and habitats on both public and private land and in aquatic environments. We recognise that all Victorians share in the benefits of the custodianship and caring for Country that Traditional Owners have practised for centuries.
Trust for Nature partners with Traditional Owner groups and Aboriginal Victorians in every region of Victoria.
In 2022 Trust for Nature announced the transfer of Neds Corner Station back to its Traditional Owners, the Ngintait people.
The property, an important cultural landscape on Ngintait Country, was run as a grazing station from the 1840s until Trust for Nature purchased it with the help of donors and the Federal Government in 2002.
We’re working with Traditional Owners to design a unique conservation covenant for the property that will protect its wildlife and support Traditional Owners’s rights, interests, aspirations and cultural and economic sustainability.
We’re also transferring an eight-hectare property on Millowl or Philip Island to Bunurong Traditional Owners, the first land handback to Bunurong People in over 180 years.
The land, which was donated to Trust for Nature in 2020, is part of the unique, richly biodiverse Rhyll Inlet—one of the most significant sites for migratory birds in Australia and recognised as a globally significant wetland under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.
An agreement between the Land Council and Trust for Nature includes 12 months access and management rights followed by a title transfer in 2023.
We’re working with Traditional Owner groups to provide conservation training for Aboriginal students.
Partnering with Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation, Wurundjeri-Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation and Holmesglen, our certification in land management and conservation is training the next generation of land managers and Traditional Custodians.
Students learn on Country with Elders and other experts, and have gained experience protecting middens, building a bush food garden and participating in a cultural burn at Coranderrk on Wurundjeri Country, the first cultural burn on the property in over 160 years.