The Goulburn Murray region is located on the land of the Yorta Yorta Nation, on the junction of the Goulburn and Murray Rivers in northeast Victoria and southern New South Wales.
Jawun has been operating in Goulburn Murray since 2010, making it the second region after Cape York.
Goulburn Murray’s Yorta Yorta Country encompasses the regional townships of Deniliquin, Echuca, Kyabram, Shepparton, Mooroopna and Wangaratta and includes significant cultural and geographic features such as Barmah/Millewa Forest and parts of Gunbower, Perricoota/Koondrook Forest, wetland systems identified as of international importance. The region also encompasses Cummeragunja mission.
According to the 2016 ABS Census:
- 63,884 people live in the Goulburn Murray region, of which 2,194 (3%) identified as Indigenous
- 56% of Indigenous 20-24 year olds completed Year 12 or equivalent compared to 78% for the non-Indigenous population
- 45% of Indigenous workforce-age population are employed full time compared to 57% for the non-Indigenous population
In Goulburn Murray the Indigenous population’s historical and contemporary experience of dispossession and prejudice poses a challenge to successful integration into the broader community. Key issues include unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse, and poor school retention rates. Goulburn Murray is also home to a wide range of migrant and refugee communities. It is a conservative community and has not yet fully embraced the diversity of its changing population. The vision of the local Indigenous leaders is to create a more socially inclusive community in the region and to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.
The strategic agenda of the region’s Indigenous leaders is focused on three long-term proxies for social advancement: well-being, participation, and productivity. To achieve these, leaders focus on self-determination, education, employment, economic development cultural enhancement and social inclusion, wellbeing, strengthening families and alcohol and drug management.