The new reserve is named the Brataualung Forest Park

On Saturday 14 July 2018, Dr Aunty Doris Paton announced the name of the new reserve - Brataualung Forest Park. Dr Aunty Doris Paton is a Gunaikurnai Land and Water Aboriginal Corporation board member. The Minister for Environment Lily D'Ambrosio launched the Forest Park and new name at a community event in the Strzelecki Ranges.

Brataualung was the name that received the most votes during Stage 2 of the naming process.

We thank all of the people who participated in the naming project.

Photograph of Brataualung Forest Park launch

The Brataualung Forest Park launch on 14 July 2018.

About the new reserve

The new 2,390 hectare reserve protects important areas of Cool Temperate Rainforest and Damp Forest. It provides habitat for significant species including Slender Tree-fern, Koala, Powerful Owl and Strzelecki Burrowing Crayfish. The community has been advocating for the increase in conservation reserves in the Stzrelecki Ranges since the mid 1990s. The area is part of Brataualung Country of the Gunaikurnai people.

The naming process

The first stage of the process requested nominations to name the new reserve. The nominations were made using an online form and the nomination period was open from 5 December to 14 January 2017.

The first stage of the project resulted in the nomination of 51 names. The community panel was impressed with the range of creative options presented for consideration. The names were evaluated by the community panel based on the 12 principles and statutory requirements governing the naming of features (see page 15 and 37 of Naming Rules for Places in Victoria). Consultation was also undertaken with key stakeholders. We thank all of the people who nominated names for the reserve.

The second stage invited people to vote on their preferred name from a shortlist of the nominations. The voting stage was open from 21 February to 21 March.

Thank you to everyone that submitted a vote.

You can find out more about the process and the name by clicking on the boxes below.

Stage 2 of the process resulted in 205 votes for the two shortlisted names. Brataualung received the majority of votes and approval for the name was obtained from DELWP and the Office of Geographic Names.

Here is some background to the two names shortlisted for voting:

Brataualung (pronounced "Bra-too-alung"): the reserve area is part of Brataualung Country of the Gunaikurnai people. The Gunaikurnai people are the traditional owners of Gippsland. The country of the Gunaikurnai people includes the coastal and inland areas to the southern slopes of the Victorian Alps. Gunaikurnai people are made up of the Brataualung, Brayakaulung, Brabralung, Krauatungalung and Tatungalung family clans.

Grand Ridge : Grand Ridge is a name strongly associated with the Strzelecki Ranges for at least 80 years. The Strzelecki Ranges is a mountainous area characterised by deep gullies and steep ridges. The name is also associated with the Grand Ridge Road, a major road that traverses the Strzelecki Ranges from near Seaview in the west to Carrajung in the east. The road passes directly through the new reserve and also the neighbouring Tarra-Bulga National Park and Gunyah Rainforest Reserve.

The Gunaikurani Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) have been consulted regarding the use of the name Brataualung. GLaWAC supports the use of the name for the new reserve. GLaWAC represents the Traditional Owners from the Brataualung, Brayakaulung, Brabralung, Krauatungalung and Tatungalung family clans who were recognised in the Native Title Consent Determination made under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010.


This new reserve is part of an area known locally as the 'Cores and Links'.

The ‘Cores and Links’ concept was developed subsequent to the sale of Victoria’s plantation estate to Hancock Victorian Plantations (now known as HVP Plantations) in 1998.

As a result of lobbying by local community groups, the Strzelecki Working Group was established to investigate values and recommend potential options for future management.

The Strzelecki Working Group included representatives from Hancock Victorian Plantations, local community groups, local government, Trust for Nature and West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority. The working group published the report ‘Strzelecki Ranges Biodiversity Study’ in 2001 that proposed a new conservation reserve similar in size and location that is reflected in the 2008 Agreement.

The ‘Cores and Links’ comprise ‘core’ endangered cool temperate rainforest with significant stands of Mountain Ash and Damp Forest. They also ‘link’ Gunyah Rainforest Reserve to Tarra-Bulga National Park which protects important habitat and permits the movement of plants and animals through the Strzelecki Ranges.

The map shows the area for the new reserve in dark purple shading. The 'Cores and Links' area is represented by light purple and dark purple shading . The nearby existing reserves of Tarra-Bulga National Park, Gunyah Rainforest Reserve and Gunyah Scenic Reserve are also shown. Download the map below.

New conservation reserve location map (MS Word 7.59MB)

The 2008 Agreement

The Strzelecki Reserve (Cores and Links) Agreement was signed in 2008 by the Victorian Government and HVP Plantations. The agreement will return the 8000 hectare Cores and Links area to public management and, ultimately, protection as part of the reserve system. The naming project is a step in this process.

The Agreement would not have been achieved without the drive and commitment of many members of the community in working together and raising the issue over the last twenty years.

The agreement provides for the protection of the native forest in the Cores and Links and the eventual protection of all areas of the Cores and Links. The agreement protects an additional 15,000 hectares of native forests surrounding the Cores and Links under a Land Management Cooperative Agreement.

An area of 1500 hectares of plantation within the Cores and Links is subject to a once-off harvest, with those areas progressively regenerated and placed into public reserves and protection over the coming years. An area of the Cores and Links has been leased to HVP Plantations for this once-off harvest and the lease period will end in 2028. The agreement allows HVP Plantations to meet contractual obligations to Australian Paper and manage the impact on the local economy and jobs.

Since 2008, HVP Plantations have been undertaking an annual program to regenerate the areas that have been harvested with native understorey and overstorey.

The first handback of land for the new conservation reserve was completed in mid 2017. This handback was more than ten years ahead of scheduled end of lease in 2028. Further parcels will be handed back as they are progressively regenerated over the coming years. The naming project provides a name for the 2,390 hectares returned to public management.

The local community has had a strong interest in advocating for the improved conservation of biodiversity in the Strzelecki Ranges and played a central role in the naming process.

The naming process was overseen by a community panel who determined the shortlist of names and the final recommendation. The names were evaluated based on the 12 principles and statutory requirements governing the naming of features (see page 15 and 37 of Naming Rules for Places in Victoria). The community panel was convened by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

All votes were counted and the name with the majority of votes, Brataualung, was checked against naming rules and approved by DELWP. The final name was also subject to compliance checks and audit prior to gazettal by the Victorian Office of Geographic Names. The name has been incorporated into the VICNAMES database,