Knob Reserve - Read More

Traditional ownership and joint management of the Knob Reserve

In 2010, the Federal Court recognised the Gunaikurnai people’s native title rights over much of Gippsland.

At the same time, the Victorian Government entered into legal agreements under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act acknowledging the Gunaikurnai's Traditional Owner rights, including the signing of a Recognition and Settlement Agreement (RSA).

The Land Agreement in the RSA grants the Gunaikurnai people Aboriginal Title over ten parks and reserves in Gippsland, including the Knob Reserve. Since 2010, the step from legal recognition to joint management of these ten sites has progressed in accordance with two pieces of Victorian legislation:

  1. The Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (Vic) – allows the State of Victoria to enter into a Recognition and Settlement Agreement (RSA) with a traditional owner group entity for an area of public land.

    The RSA between the Gunaikurnai People and the State of Victoria includes a Land Agreement which provides for the granting of reserved public land as ‘Aboriginal Titles’ to GLaWAC, to be jointly managed by the Gunaikurnai and the Victorian Government.
  2. The Conservation, Forests and Lands Act 1987 - provides the basis for the Victorian Government to establish a Traditional Owner Land Management Board (TOLMB) which sets and guides strategic direction for the joint management of Aboriginal Title lands.

History of the Knob Reserve

The Knob Reserve was set aside in 1906 as a ‘recreation reserve’ and is managed in accordance with the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978 (Victoria) for public recreation purposes.

It demonstrates the living culture of Gunaikurnai in the present as well as the past: a traditional gathering place used by five clan groups for thousands of years; a place of clandestine resort in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to maintain connections with family, separated during the mission era and the location of the ceremony to confer Victoria’s first native title determination in 2010.

It is located in the country of the Brayakaulung Clan. The Dooyeedang was a major travelling route between the high country and the Gippsland Lakes, as well as providing eel, bream, flathead and prawn.

The bluff above the Dooyeedang was a significant campsite. Axe heads were sharpened on the sandstone grinding stones beneath the bluff. The resulting deep grooves are rare and significant in Victoria. Evidence of site scatters, scar trees and camps are also present within the reserve.

It is an important waypoint on the Bataluk Cultural Trail, a regional cultural touring route through Gippsland that extends from South Gippsland to Cape Conran.