Gatjin / Water

We heal waterways

Gatjin (water) is the lifeblood of Djandak (Dja Dja Wurrung Country)

The Dja Dja Wurrung Gatjin Strategy outlines Djaara’s aspirations, goals and expectations for water management on Djandak. Building on the aspirations and values set out by Dja Dja Wurrung in the Dhelkunya Dja (Country Plan), we work with our stakeholders to heal the waterways, rivers and wetlands of Djandak. 

The waterways of Central Victoria are central to our cultural identity and our aspirations for community and economic development. They are places to camp, hunt, fish, swim and hold Ceremony. They provide food, medicine and other resources, and contain many cultural heritage sites that help us connect with our Ancestors. They are places where we can pass traditional knowledge on to our children and grandchildren.

The four main rivers on Djandak are the yaluk (Campaspe), bulatjal yaluk (Loddon), yang (Avoca) and Avon/Richardson. Djandak’s waterways also include smaller rivers and creeks such as the dindilong yaluk (Coliban River) and yaram yaram manya (Bendigo Creek), and many wetlands and lakes such as those as Boort, Eppalock, Laanecoorie and the Mooloort Plains.

Our rivers are the veins of Country. It is a big task to heal our waterways so that they can continue to be the lifeblood of our Country.

Goal 5: Rivers and Waterways (Dhelkunya Dja)

The Gatjin Journey

Djandak (Dja Dja Wurrung Country) has sustained the Dja Dja Wurrung Peoples for tens of thousands of years. The health of the People is linked to the health of Djandak, especially the health of the soil, the plants, the animals, and the water. When Djandak is sick, so too are Djaara.  

The Gatjin team enables enables and empowers Djaara People to take their rightful place as the experts in water management on Djandak. We help our stakeholders gain access to Djaara’s cultural knowledge and Djaara values so that water projects, strategies or policies are based on Djaara’s way of healing Country. We provide oversight, advice and value to maximise the efforts of your organisation in ensuring waterways are improved with Traditional Owner input and support for the benefit of the whole community. 

Gatjin (Water) team in enables Djaara people to take their rightful place as the experts in water management on Djandak. We facilitate access to Djaara cultural knowledge and Djaara values a range of strategies, policies and projects related to water on Djandak. This allows us to ensure that we all care for Djandak.

We work with a range of stakeholders to ensure their work is guided by Djaara and that funds intended to support water initiatives are diverted to DJANDAK. In this way we contribute to the achievement of the goals of Dhelkunya Dja (Country Plan) and walk the path towards returning active custodianship of Djandak to the Traditional Owners. 

Our stakeholders include: 

  • Catchment Management Authorities 
  • Water Authorities 
  • State Government Agencies
  • Land Developers
  • Private land holders
As the Traditional Custodians of these waterways, Djaara feel a strong obligation to assist anyone wanting to support a Djaara led initiative to heal Djandak’s land and waters. 

djaa ba gatjin dhelkunyangu, dhelk gatjini djuwenuwangu
We are empowered as
the Traditional custodians of this land to care for Country and apply Djaara knowledge to heal our waterways
– returning good spirit to G


  • Gatjin Strategy 
  • Upper Coliban Aboriginal Waterways Assessment 
  • Tullaroop Integrated Catchment Plan
  • Avoca Healthy Country Plan 
  • Environmental Watering  
  • Waterways Monitoring – Coliban Catchment, Bendigo Creek 


‘Gatjin is life, it is a living entity in itself and all life depends on the free flow of water throughout Country. We are nurtured by and born of water - we are Gatjin’

Djaara Nation Statement


Download Gatjin (Water) Strategy 2023

Download Dhelkunya Dja
(Healthy Country Plan)

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Have a great idea? Want to work with us? Have questions?
We would love to hear from you.

T: 03 5444 2888

PO BOX 1026, Bendigo VIC 3552

Office Hours:
Monday – Friday, 9am – 4:30pm

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Gungilang wangendak | our work

The Trustee for Djandak Fixed Trust trading as Djandak ABN (31 631 296 457) a registered Charity and a corporate member of the Dja Dja Wurrung Corporation (DJAARA) group of companies.

Visitors should be aware that this website may contain culturally sensitive material including images and names of people who may have passed away.

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