Gunditjmara country and the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape

Copland Theatre Basement level, The Spot Building 198 Berkeley St Carlton, VIC

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Responsibility, connection, use and management of biodiversity.

The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape, located in the traditional country of the Gunditjmara Aboriginal people in Victoria, contains one of the world’s most extensive and oldest aquaculture systems. The Budj Bim lava flows provide the basis for channels, weirs and dams developed by the Gunditjmara in order to trap, store and harvest kooyang (short-finned eel). This seminar will focus on the land, water and biodiversity management work of the Gunditjmara people, traditional owners and native title holders of country in south-west Victoria, including the recent World Heritage Listing of the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape. Providing important insights into cultural landscapes, this seminar will showcase traditional knowledge and cultural expertise that is critical to the health, vitality and future of essential ecosystems, particularly in the face of extinction threats and climate change.

This is part of a MSSI seminar series focusing on biodiversity.

About the presenter

Mr Damein Bell is a Gunditjmara man and CEO of Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation where, under instruction from the community, he implements Gunditj Mirring’s strategic and operations plans, and advocates for Gunditjmara in native title, cultural heritage, cultural land management and Indigenous nation building to support the Gunditjmara cultural strengthening and identity. In addition to his work with the Gunditjmara People, Damein has been a board member of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, Parks Victoria, Native Title Services Victoria Ltd and was the Strategic Project Manager – Advancing Country Towns Project for the Glenelg Shire Council. Damein is currently a board member of the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority and the Independent Chair of the National Cultural Flow Research Project. He has studied at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.