VACCHO proud to award scholarships to emerging leaders in Aboriginal Health

Jul 2, 2024

VACCHO is proud to announce the awarding of sixteen scholarships to Aboriginal Health Workers and Aboriginal Health Practitioners currently working in Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) across Victoria.  

The scholarships, each valued at $4000, provide critical support for a key workforce in the ACCO sector, removing barriers to participation in training and professional development. 

The scholarships, which were awarded through a newly established training support program, are funded by the Victorian Department of Health and administered by VACCHO. This follows strong advocacy from VACCHO to ensure that Aboriginal Health Practitioners were designated in the newly released Victorian Health Workforce Strategy as a critical role in the health workforce. 

The sixteen successful awardees come from a wide variety of communities in both rural and urban areas, and range in age from new graduates to Elders who have served their communities as Aboriginal Health Workers for decades. 

Awardees stated that their motivation to apply for a scholarship was to better serve the communities that they work within.

“This scholarship will not only benefit me but the Community…to help to mob. It will also help me to be a role model for young mob coming up through the Community to give them hope that they can come from a small Community and complete a degree and leave a positive impact on the Community through health.” 

“The scholarship will help me to be a mentor and role model in my profession.” 

Quote to be attributed to VACCHO CEO Dr Jill Gallagher AO:

“I’d like to acknowledge the scholarship recipients for their commitment and determination to promoting Aboriginal ways of knowing, being, and doing.  

“This scholarship program is an exciting initiative that champions 65,000 years of Aboriginal culture, while putting Aboriginal health in Aboriginal hands.” 
“Aboriginal Health Workers and Practitioners are the backbone of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healthcare in Victoria, who work tirelessly to help nurture thriving, healthy Communities. 

“These scholarships will enhance educational and training opportunities, while fostering the next generation of Aboriginal health leaders and role models.” 

Quote to be attributed to Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas:

“We are proud to support Aboriginal students through a range of scholarships, allowing them to excel in their chosen health field.

“Building up our workforce is crucial to delivering a reformed system of care – these scholarships are training up the next generation of highly skilled, motivated and supported workers.”

VACCHO acknowledges the Victorian Department of Health for their commitment to seeing a strong and sustainable Aboriginal health and wellbeing workforce. 

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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.