VACCHO: State Government Budget A Win For Aboriginal Mental Health And Wellbeing

Mar 4, 2021

The Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) welcomes the State Government Budget’s ground-breaking delivery of a $448 million investment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

VACCHO is pleased to see the 2021/2022 Budget’s delivery of $116 million to support the mental health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as part of the State Government’s $3.8 billion for Victoria’s mental health system. 

VACCHO CEO Jill Gallagher has welcomed the State Budget’s strong focus on mental health.

“This is a positive announcement that will make a significant difference to the health and wellbeing of our community. It will create job opportunities and allow our Members to provide the much-needed care and support for our people,” said Ms Gallagher.

VACCHO are pleased to see $31.5 million to transform the way services are delivered for at-risk Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families but would like to see more work done to help families access culturally appropriate preventative services.

“We need to keep our children safe and out of the child protection system. There needs to be a greater focus on preventative measures,” said Ms Gallagher.

Whilst the 2021/2022 Budget has seen some extremely positive initiatives – VACCHO would like to see more attention going towards caring for our Elders who continue to slip through the cracks.

VACCHO look forward to working together with ACCOs, government and mainstream health services to advance health and wellbeing outcomes for Aboriginal communities across the state. 


VACCHO is the leading advocate for the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal peoples in Victoria and a peak organisation to its membership of 32 ACCOs. VACCHO also works closely with partner organisations, Government, non-Government community sector organisations across Victoria and nationally. 


For media inquiries or interview requests please contact Michael Lynch on 0427 760 936

VACCHO CEO Jill Gallagher believes it is time to create a new day that is inclusive for everyone.

“It is time for us to press the reset button and create a new day – a new date – a day where we can all celebrate and feel included. January 26 is not that day – January 26 hurts.”

“Change needs to be led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with our voices at the forefront, but we need allies around us, and we need a focus on educating all Australians about the true history of this country.”

“We also need a bold and brave government to make this change. Last year we saw the government listen to Aboriginal leaders and free the flag – we must keep the momentum going and do something about this date.”

“The time for change is well and truly overdue and needs to happen now.”


NOTE: Your social and emotional safety is important. If this article has brought up any concerns or issues for you, please have a yarn with Yarnin Safe’n’Strong (1800 959 563) or 13YARN (13 32 16).

Media enquiries

For further media enquiries please email or contact our media unit on (03) 9411 9411.


VACCHO is the peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing in Victoria – the only one of its kind – with 32 Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations as Members. VACCHO Members support over 65,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria, and combined are the largest employers of Aboriginal people in the state.