“Strong families build strong Communities.” The Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) through the Balit Durn Durn Centre are thrilled to launch the new Centre of Excellence for Aboriginal Families Wellbeing.
The Centre of Excellence for Aboriginal Families Wellbeing is dedicated to advancing the rights and social and emotional wellbeing of families in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities throughout Victoria.
The Centre of Excellence for Aboriginal Families Wellbeing will also explore new ways of supporting the family as a whole. This will involve fostering a transformative paradigm shift in the narrative surrounding Aboriginal families, whilst challenging and dismantling deficit-driven and racist perspectives.
Traditional, ancient Aboriginal models of parenting and raising children promote holistic health and wellbeing, cultural resilience, and a strong sense of community and identity.
These models are grounded in the values of respect, responsibility, and reciprocity, which are essential for building strong and healthy Aboriginal families and communities.
The Centre of Excellence for Aboriginal Families Wellbeing will champion these models that celebrate the strengths, resilience, and cultural richness within Aboriginal families.
Through research, programming, advocacy, and collaboration, the Centre will seek to influence positive change by amplifying the voices of Aboriginal families and empowering them to shape policies and practices that promote their social wellbeing, self-determination, and prosperity.
The guiding principles of the Centre for Excellence for Aboriginal Families are born from Culture, Country, and connections to Community and kin.
These principles acknowledge that Aboriginal families’ identities, traditions, and social and emotional wellbeing are intimately intertwined with their cultural heritage and ancestral lands.
The Centre of Excellence for Aboriginal Families Wellbeing’s vision is that Aboriginal families are emotionally, spiritually and culturally strong, live in safe and caring environments within their Communities, and are afforded the same life opportunities available to all Australians to achieve their full potential.
VACCHO CEO Dr. Jill Gallagher AO (HonLLD) says the new The Centre of Excellence for Aboriginal Families Wellbeing will advocate for prioritising the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal families as the cornerstone of prosperity for Communities.
“The Centre of Excellence for Aboriginal Families Wellbeing is an exciting initiative that will focus on keeping families together and keeping families safe and strong. Doing so leads to better education outcomes, employment prospects – and in turn helps break cycles of disadvantage.”
“Aboriginal families deserve to be set up for parenting success before birth and have access to culturally strong, safe, and responsive Aboriginal and mainstream health and wellbeing services that build on our strengths and enable healing.”
“Aboriginal families also have the right to participate in – and have control over – decisions that affect our children and our lives.”
“The new Centre of Excellence is about celebrating the strength of Aboriginal families and championing Aboriginal ways of being, knowing, and doing to empower generations.”
Logo designed by Djab Wurrong and Kirrae Wurrong artist Tarni Jarvis.