Staff from VACCHO's Member organisations gathered in a room watching a presentation being delivered by VACCHO CEO Jill Gallagher AO


Feb 14, 2022

The Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) is excited to host its first in-person Members’ Meeting in two years this week on Wadawurrung Country in Torquay.  

VACCHO will  join its 32 Members, to share learnings and experiences of the past two years and lay the foundations for the health and wellbeing of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Community in Victoria for 2022. 

The gathering will also be an opportunity to recognise the leadership, dedication, and hard work of VACCHO’s 32 Member organisations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has presented major challenges however, Member organisations have been proactive and innovative to protect the health and wellbeing of Community. 

On Tuesday 15 February there will be a special event with guests The Honorable Minister for Health Martin Foley MP and The Honorable Minister for Crime Prevention, Corrections, Youth Justice and Victims Support Natalie Hutchins MP. 

It will also feature a Welcome to Country from the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners, and a special performance from Kokatha / Gunditjmara Storyteller, guitarist, and performer Dave Arden and his band.

VACCHO is looking forward to the gathering and believes it will provide an invaluable opportunity for Members and special guests to connect and set the agenda for Aboriginal health and wellbeing in 2022. 

Quotes attributable to VACCHO CEO Jill Gallagher AO 

“I have been looking forward to our Members’ Meeting for a long time. This important gathering provides us with an opportunity to connect and pay tribute to our Members.” 

“This pandemic has had so many twists and turns. Every day it seems like something changes. But despite all the challenges – all the ups and downs – the ability of each of the Members to quickly adjust and adapt to look after Community has been incredible.” 

“Next week’s Members’ Meeting is an important chance to reflect on the year’s achievements and challenges, and to think about where we want to be in the next 25 years.” 

Quotes attributable to VAHS CEO Michael Graham 

“Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations are unique in that we are one big family. As a workforce, we should all be proud of our collective efforts in providing personalised, culturally-safe care for our communities across Victoria.” 

“I am looking forward to sharing stories and reflections with fellow Members while laying the foundations to help create and inspire healthy Aboriginal people and families through quality, effective community health services and training.”

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.