“Waterways are special places for Dja Dja Wurrung people. The rivers are the veins of Dja Dja Wurrung country which provide food and medicine, places to camp, hunt, fish, swim and hold ceremony. Our waterways are places that we connect with our ancestors and pass traditional knowledge on to our children and grandchildren.” - Rivers and Waterways, in the Dja Dja Wurrung Country Plan.
The Coliban River is a highly-valued place within a wider catchment that is culturally significant to Dja Dja Wurrung people. Undertaking an Aboriginal Waterways Assessment, Dja Dja Wurrung representatives have recently measured the impact of environmental flows in the Coliban during very dry autumn conditions.
The Coliban River provides habitat for platypus, rakali (water rats) and small-bodied native fish (such as flat-headed gudgeon and mountain galaxias). The river also supports plenty of aquatic vegetation which is home to a diverse range of waterbugs. It is bordered by patches of shrubland vegetation and river red gum woodland with callistemon, woolly tea-tree and inland wirilda, which provide habitat for land animals.
The knowledge gained from the Aboriginal Waterways Assessment will help Dja Dja Wurrung Aboriginal Corporation and North Central CMA to plan and deliver environmental flows that maintain the environmental and cultural values of the Coliban River.
The Aboriginal Waterways Assessment on the Coliban River is also helping to deliver on the goals of the Dja Dja Wurrung Country Plan which describes Dja Dja Wurrung people’s aspirations around the management of rivers and waterways and articulates Dja Dja Wurrung people’s support for the reinstatement of environmental flows as an overall objective for the management of water on country.