A momentous occasion more than 20 years in the making was marked at Logans Beach on Tuesday as land rights were handed back to the traditional owners.
The decision made by the Federal Court of Australia formally recognises the Easter Maar peoples' native title rights.
Elders and community members were joined by Victoria's Minister for Treaty and First Peoples Gabrielle Williams at the hearing.
It was the first Victorian native title determination in a decade.
The determination area from Grey River in the east to the Hopkins River at Warrnambool in the west, encompasses Dunkeld, Mortlake, Terang, Cobden and Camperdown, and beyond.
It includes the right to camp, hunt, fish, collect plants, protect sites of cultural significance and conduct ceremony on Indigenous country.
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Eastern Maar chief executive officer Marcus Clarke said it was the highest form of legal recognition available under Australian law to determine the group as the traditional owners.
"Eastern Maar people view it as a momentous occasion," he said.
"To get to where we are today is a massive achievement.
"It shows the resilience of our collective society through the family groups and our decision making processes have served us well in that period in a democratic way."
He said any decision made regarding the land must now flow back to the traditional owners, which comprises 13 family groups.
Mr Clarke said the claim was first lodged with the Federal Court in late-2012, but discussions were had among the community and family groups in the 10 years prior.
Ms Williams said through the court hearing Eastern Maar peoples were assured of their rights under Australian law to protect their native title long into the future.
"This hearing honours the deep cultural significance that country holds for Eastern Maar people and empowers them to manage and protect country in accordance with the law and customs," she said.
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