Supporting Traditional Owner self-determination


RMCG acknowledges and respects Traditional Owners as the custodians of Australia’s land and waters, their unique ability to care for Country and deep spiritual connection to it. We honour Elders past and present whose knowledge and wisdom has ensured the continuation of culture and traditional practices.

As an environmental and agricultural consultancy, we have much to learn from Traditional culture and practice. We see that the land is upside-down. Our works tells us the lifeblood of the Country is being stretched. Sustainable resource use is a necessity, not a choice.

We have been privileged to work alongside Traditional Owner groups in this common goal. We have supported the development of a new Investment Strategy and Business Plan for the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation. We are working with the Barengi Gadjin Land Council to revitalise the Wail Nursery to provide income, opportunities and skills for Traditional Owners. We have facilitated trainings for the Barapa Barapa Water for Country Steering Committee to connect members and build on the success of their work. And we have worked to center the voices and experience of first nations people in Mansfield’s Environment Strategy and the forthcoming State Forest Strategy for Victoria.

At RMCG, we understand our privilege affords us opportunities to work on and speak about issues that deeply affect Traditional Owners. Aboriginal law and spirituality are intertwined with the land, the people and creation, and this forms their culture and sovereignty. We are committed to continuing to create space for first nation people as custodians, land managers and owners.

At times this means referring jobs to an Aboriginal person or business. At times this means stepping back, so others can step forward. But at times it means working in partnership. Listening. Embodying respect. Acknowledging our privilege. And, where we can, bringing our expertise to protect and promote sustainable development in all of its forms.

Please contact David Hale on 0428 135 324‬ or for further information.


David Hale

David Hale

Senior Consultant


David brings diverse community development experience from time with the Federal Government, across regional Victoria and abroad. Specialising in strategic development, community facilitation and monitoring and evaluation, he is passionate about enabling local change. With extensive work in government planning, conflict negotiation, youth empowerment and social innovation, David is able to adapt and apply his high-quality reporting and facilitation skills flexibly across a range of partners.

Having worked as a Managing Director and Senior Researcher, David brings an array of technical and practical expertise in community development, participatory research, conflict management, strategic planning and monitoring and evaluation. David enjoys working collaboratively to bring about local outcomes. He appreciates taking time to understand and meaningfully connect with those he works with and takes pride in his ability to synthesise information from those he engages.

Claire Flanagan-Smith

Claire Flanagan-Smith


B.Env.Eng. (Hons)

Claire has more than a decade’s experience in strategic planning, facilitation and community engagement in a range of industries. Claire’s people and strategy skills are underpinned by a strong understanding of engineering and policy. She helps communities and organisations deal with complex issues, supporting insight and constructive strategy. Claire has delivered quality projects including investigations of community concerns related to mining, regional strategic planning, socio-economic impact studies and strategic planning for a wide range of organisations.

Melissa Ludeman

Melissa Ludeman


B.Env.Sci. (Hons)

Mel is working primarily in the facilitation and strategy area of the business. She has completed a Bachelor of Environmental Science (Environmental Management and Sustainability) at Deakin University. Prior to joining RMCG, Mel was employed in conservation projects around Victoria. For her honours project, Mel worked with an Aboriginal Cooperative to evaluate their grassland management strategies in the You Yangs.