VACCHO Celebrates the Success of Driven and Dedicated RTO Graduates

Nov 24, 2023

The Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) is celebrating the achievements of 58 determined and dedicated graduates following a momentous RTO Graduation Ceremony on Wednesday, 22 November 2023. 

WARNING: VACCHO advises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that the following article contains references to those who have returned to the Dreaming.

VACCHO pays tribute to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders and families who were in attendance to celebrate the success of the students. The event was one of pride for all and represented a special moment for those who were the first in their family to achieve a qualification. 

The event featured a number of moving moments but none more than proud Gunditjmara woman and graduate Aunty Tina Wright’s heartfelt speech where she paid tribute to her late mother Aunty Eunice Wright.   

VACCHO CEO Dr. Jill Gallagher AO (HonLLD) congratulated the graduates on their achievements telling them that by applying 65,000 years of rich Aboriginal culture they “will make a big difference to the health and wellbeing of Communities.” 

VACCHO would also like to acknowledge the Education Training Unit’s (ETU) Aboriginal mentors whose knowledge, experience, and wisdom played a vital role in supporting the success of graduates.  

VACCHO is very proud to have placed more than 60 Aboriginal trainees in the Victorian ACCO sector over the past two years to strengthen culturally appropriate care for Communities. 

VACCHO’s strong RTO was also awarded the Community Provider of the Year 2023 at the Victorian Training Awards in August – further testament to the results being delivered by both the training team and of course the students. 

VACCHO Chief Operating Officer Jim O’Shea is looking forward to seeing many graduates have long and rewarding careers working in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector in Victoria. 

“The graduation was testament to the incredible dedication of the VACCHO Membership, Aboriginal Community Controlled sector, the RTO training team – and of course the students.” 

“Wednesday’s graduation was particularly special as we graduated our inaugural students in Alcohol & Other Drugs and Mental Health qualifications, it also acknowledges the tireless work of the students, our Members, our Aboriginal Student Mentors and the VACCHO Education and Training team.” 

“Aboriginal culture, and Aboriginal ways of knowing, being, and doing are vital to the path forward for Communities.” 

“The knowledge gained by graduates combined with their determination and ability to put Aboriginal health in Aboriginal hands will make a big difference in supporting thriving, healthy Communities.” 

VACCHO thanks Parliamentary Secretary for First Peoples Ms. Chris Couzens MP and Minister Gayle Tierney, Minister for Training and Skills for their valuable partnership and support.

For enrolments and more information, visit the VACCHO Education & Training page.

Photo: Piper Knox who graduated with a Cert III in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care (second from left) with Parliamentary Secretary for First Peoples Ms. Christine Couzens MP, and VACCHO CEO Dr. Jill Gallagher AO (HonLLD) at the graduation ceremony.

Top photo: RTO graduates celebrate their success at this week’s Graduation Ceremony in Melbourne.

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VACCHO is the peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing in Victoria – the only one of its kind – with 33 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.