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Visit Victoria celebrates UNESCO recognition of Budj Bim Cultural Landscape
South western Victoria's Budj Bim Cultural Landscape has been formally recognised on the UNESCO World Heritage List, becoming the only Australian World Heritage property listed exclusively for its Aboriginal cultural values.
Traditionally engineered by Gunditjmara Ancestors to trap eels for food, the highly sophisticated aquaculture systems was developed over 6,600 years and connect across nearly 100 kilometre².
Alongside these aquaculture systems, the Gunditjmara built round houses out of basalt stones with large numbers still visible in the landscape today.
Over the past five years the Gunditjmara people have worked closely with the Victorian and Australian Governments in developing Budj Bim’s World Heritage nomination.
The Victorian Government has shown strong support with an overall commitment of $13 million to the Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation to implement the Budj Bim Master Plan to support tourism infrastructure projects.
Visit Victoria Chief Executive Peter Bingeman said that supporting the promotion of Victoria’s Aboriginal tourism offering is a key priority for the organisation, commenting “supporting Aboriginal tourism in Victoria is central to telling the story of Victoria’s diverse history, growing the state’s tourism assets and supporting local communities through the creation of jobs and training opportunities.”
Implementation of the Master Plan will advance Budj Bim as a world-class tourism destination and support self-determination for the Gunditjmara People in sharing the Cultural Landscape with the world.
The Master Plan outlines visitor targets over three stages with the ultimate goal of attracting more than 150,000 annual visitors in ten to 25 years. However, the Master Plan recognises the need to build tourism sustainably so the increase in visitors does not negatively impact the area. Work is currently underway to implement the Master Plan, which will continue over the next few years.
The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape is situated near the Great Ocean Road, where existing Aboriginal tourism businesses and experiences are among the most mature and established within regional Victoria.
Bingeman added “Visit Victoria welcomes the announcement of UNESCO World Heritage status for the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape and we look forward to its ongoing development as a tourism icon of the future.
“This is a milestone for Victoria’s Aboriginal cultural heritage and will help to raise awareness of Budj Bim’s 6,600 year history of aquaculture and ongoing significance to the Gunditjmara.”
The site is located along Victoria's Great Ocean Road.
Images courtesy of Visit Victoria.
5th July 2019 - Great Otways National Park benefits from facility upgrades
28th October 2018 - Victoria Government agrees largest ever native title claim
15th October 2018 - Traditional owners to jointly manage six Victorian National Parks
18th September 2018 - New Parks Victoria Act looks to strengthen park management
5th July 2018 - UNESCO adds 18 sites to World Heritage list
18th April 2017 - World Heritage Day celebrates global cultural heritage
14th August 2016 - UNESCO report urges protection of oceans with World Heritage status
25th June 2013 - UNESCO agrees World Heritage Area status for Tasmanian forests
11th July 2012 - Asian heritage sites get UNESCO recognition
4th July 2011 - WA welcomes Ningaloo Coast’s World Heritage listing
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