The Yarra River is of great importance to Melbourne and Victoria. It is the intention of the Parliament that the Yarra River is kept alive and healthy for the benefit of future generations.
This Act recognises the intrinsic connection of the traditional owners to the Yarra River and its Country and further recognises them as the custodians of the land and waterway which they call Birrarung.
In the Woi-wurrung language of the traditional owners, Wilip-gin Birrarung murron means "keep the Birrarung alive". The following statement (in the Woi-wurrung language  and in English) is from the Woi-wurrung—
Woiwurrungbaluk ba Birrarung wanganyinu biikpil
Yarrayarrapil, manyi biik ba Birrarung, ganbu marram-nganyinu
Manyi Birrarung murrondjak, durrung ba murrup warrongguny, ngargunin twarnpil
Birrarungwa nhanbu wilamnganyinu
Nhanbu ngarn.ganhanganyinu manyi Birrarung
Bunjil munggany biik, wurru-wurru, warriny ba yaluk, ba ngargunin twarn
Biiku kuliny munggany Bunjil
Balliyang, barnumbinyu Bundjilal, banyu bagurrk munggany
nyilam biik, nyilam kuliny – balit biik, balit kuliny: balitmanhanganyin manyi biik ba Birrarung. Balitmanhanganyin durrungu ba murrupu,
ba nhanbu murrondjak!
We, the Woi-wurrung, the First People, and the Birrarung, belong to this Country. This Country, and the Birrarung are part of us.
The Birrarung is alive, has a heart, a spirit and is part of our Dreaming. We have lived with and known the Birrarung since the beginning. We will always know the Birrarung.
Bunjil, the great Eagle, the creator spirit, made the land, the sky, the sea, the rivers, flora and fauna, the lore. He made Kulin from the earth. Bunjil gave Waa, the crow, the responsibility of Protector. Bunjil's brother, Palliyang, the Bat, created Bagarook, women, from the water.
Since our beginning it has been known that we have an obligation to keep the Birrarung alive and healthy—for all generations to come.
The Parliament of Victoria therefore enacts: