Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation
On 27 July 2011, the Federal Court of Australia determined that both the Eastern Maar and Gunditjmara Peoples are the native title holders over land roughly between the Shaw and Eumeralla Rivers and including Deen Maar (or Lady Julia Percy Island) which is of particular cultural significance to the Eastern Maar and Gunditjmara Peoples.
The Gunditjmara and Eastern Maar Peoples are the traditional owners of this area of south-west Victoria. They are separate but related ‘domains’ of the same community of native title-holders. Membership of the Gunditjmara and Eastern Maar is defined by reference to criteria including descent from identified ancestors who occupied the area around the time of European settlement.
The consent determination recognises that the Eastern Maar and Gundtijmara peoples have the right to:
- access or enter and remain on the land and waters;
- camp on the land and waters landward of the high watermark of the sea;
- use and enjoy the land and waters;
- take the resources of the land and waters; and
- protect places and areas of importance on the land and waters.
Both the Eastern Maar and the Gunditjmara Peoples have nominated a corporation to manage the native title rights of the area. The Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation (EMAC) will hold the native title rights for the Eastern Maar Peoples, whilst the previously established Gundtij Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation (GMTOAC) will hold the rights for the Gunditjmara People.