This RCS recognises the strong connection between the health of the catchment and the wellbeing of the community. It encourages greater participation and investment in the protection, enhancement and restoration of land, water and biodiversity resources in the Corangamite region. ‘Community’ refers to all those with an interest or potential interest in the environment who live or work in, or visit, the Corangamite region. Community includes individual landowners, community members and groups, government agencies, industry bodies, authorities and investors.

Under the Communities Theme in the Corangamite Regional Catchment Strategy are two Sub-themes:

Integrated catchment management (ICM) adopts a whole‐of‐system approach to land, water and biodiversity planning and delivery for multiple outcomes within and across natural ecosystems. It captures the values and priorities of regional communities and brings together partners from across the catchment region to identify and respond to challenges that cannot be solved by one organisation or stakeholder alone.

Diagram of the relevant components of Integrated Catchment Management

Aboriginal peoples have lived in the area now known as the Corangamite region for thousands of generations. The natural environment of the region is in reality a cultural landscape. that has been lived in, used, managed and ultimately shaped by Aboriginal peoples over tens of thousands of years. Today’s landscape has been heavily shaped by the actions of those who have lived here.

The Corangamite Catchment Management Authority acknowledges and respects Traditional Owners and Aboriginal communities and organisations, especially the Wadawurrung and Eastern Maar Traditional Owners. The diversity of their cultures and the deep connections they have with Corangamite’s lands and waters are acknowledged. Partnerships with them for the health of people and country are also valued. Respect to their Elders past and present are acknowledged and the primacy of Traditional Owners’ obligations, rights and responsibilities to use and care for their traditional lands and waters are recognised.

This will be achieved by:

  • aligning and including the outcomes of Traditional Owner Healthy Country Plans to the delivery of the Regional Catchment Strategy
  • integrating Aboriginal engagement and participation in the planning, governance, implementation and review of programs and projects
  • actively engaging Aboriginal communities and building partnerships
  • ensuring engagement and participation approaches are well planned, tailored, targeted and evaluated
  • providing meaningful opportunities for Aboriginal people to contribute to strategies and initiatives
  • establishing clear roles and expectations.

The commitment to recognising Traditional Owners is also represented by the inclusion in this Regional Catchment Strategy of individual pages dedicated to the Eastern Maar and Wadawurrung Traditional Owners as the two Registered Aboriginal Parties for the Corangamite region.