All photography provided by Wayne Quilliam

We are building a plan to share the Aboriginal stories and culture of the Great Ocean Road region with the world.


Our Mission

The Great Ocean Road region has over 5 million visitors each year. They come to holiday and enjoy the spectacular natural beauty of the area. But long before these modern visitors arrived it was a thriving Aboriginal place rich in cultural practices underpinned by a sharing economy. The knowledge of country passed down through thousands of generations of Aboriginal people has the potential to contribute enormously to the preservation of this amazing natural environment as well as building a sustainable economic future for Aboriginal people.

Our Mission is to develop an Aboriginal tourism plan so these visitors develop an understanding and appreciation for over 60,000 years of continuing culture in the Region. Imagine taking a guided journey along ancient songlines and being connected to knowledge and experiences much older than Stonehenge and the Great Wall of China.

Tourism provides an opportunity for economic development within the Aboriginal community through business growth and meaningful employment. It also enables Aboriginal people to pass on cultural knowledge and practices to future generations and share with the wider community.

Our first goal is to talk to existing Aboriginal operators to identify their aspirations. We also want to talk to other Aboriginal people in these communities to identify what knowledge and experiences they want to share with visitors. 

We also want to understand how Aboriginal products and experiences can enhance existing tourism experiences. This must be done in a respectful way that benefits Aboriginal Victorians and so we will be working with stakeholders to develop a set of guiding principles.  

We also recognise that Aboriginal people participate in the Tourism industry in a range of ways, not just by sharing culture. We know that there are a range of mainstream tourism products that are being run by Aboriginal people such as accommodation, transport and activities.  We are keen to hear from these operators as well to ensure we can build a visitor economy that benefits everyone.

“An unrealised and underdeveloped visitor experience asset of the region is its rich Indigenous heritage”
— Strategic Masterplan for the Great Ocean Road Region Visitor Economy 2015-2025

How we will consult

We are undertaking a co-design process for the development of this plan. For us the co-design process is about identifying what success looks like to each of the key stakeholder groups and developing a roadmap to get us there. 

  • Interviews with Registered Aboriginal Parties and Traditional Owner groups
  • Interviews with existing Aboriginal Tourism Operators
  • Interviews with existing non-Aboriginal Tourism Operators
  • Roundtable discussions with all stakeholders
  • Social Media discussions
  • Live polling
  • Collaboration Website
  • Visitor journey mapping
  • Discussion paper