Helping build a better future for Traditional Owners

G-MW’s Reconciliation Strategy and the Goulburn Murray Regional Prosperity Plan support efforts to empower the region’s Traditional Owners. Photo by Megan Fisher

Earlier this month, NAIDOC Week provided us with a great chance to celebrate and recognise the history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

At Goulburn-Murray Water, we manage a 68,000 square kilometre region that has been part of Traditional Owner culture for more than 60,000 years.

Encouragingly, there is a strong and genuine desire at G-MW to collaborate with Traditional Owners to ensure our management of the region supports their prosperity.

Our aspiration is to have meaningful relationships with Traditional Owners that deliver shared benefits.

Our recently developed Reconciliation Strategy aims to empower the Traditional Owners of the land on which we operate.

The strategy includes actions such as providing training to relevant staff on Land Use Activity Agreements and other matters relating to the land rights of Traditional Owners, and engaging with Traditional Owners to learn more about self-determination and how we can support their aspiration for this.

G-MW is also a plan champion for the Goulburn Murray Regional Prosperity Plan. The prosperity plan is working to create a community where we can learn and support each other to create a thriving and integrated Yorta Yorta and First Nations economy in the Goulburn Murray region.

The 15-year plan began in 2021. Through Yorta Yorta and First Nations’ economic inclusion and the achievement of parity, it is estimated the plan will bring an additional $150m gross regional product to the region per year.

Investment in a thriving First Nations economy is an investment in our shared future prosperity.

As one of the largest employers in the region, we are well positioned to support the plan’s drive for higher workforce participation for First Nations people.

One of the goals of our Reconciliation Strategy is to provide more pathways for First Nations peoples to participate in our employee, contractor, supplier, advisory and governance groups.

To achieve this, we will create identified Aboriginal positions to increase the participation of First Nations peoples in our employee group and actively encourage available groups to tender for contracts and supply services through our social procurement process.

Our Reconciliation Strategy and the Goulburn Murray Regional Prosperity Plan therefore support one another.

I am delighted to see us taking these steps to support and empower the region’s Traditional Owners.

While these are the early stages of the process, they provide a great foundation for tangible change to occur.

You can read more about the Goulburn Murray Regional Prosperity Plan at:

Charmaine Quick

G-MW managing director