Aboriginal medical cadetship program


Thank you to everyone who applied to to the VACCHO Aboriginal Medical Cadetship Program. Applications for the upcoming program have now closed however we would like to encourage anyone interested in future opportunities to get in touch with us.

Contact Gywn Low our Statewide GP Workforce Strategy Co-ordinator, for more information or to discuss how VACCHO could support your goals in becoming an ACCO medical professional.


Are you an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander medical student from Victoria with a passion and commitment to work for your people and contribute to health equity?

Would you welcome the opportunity to work in Community and for an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO) in Victoria during your university breaks?

If you have answered YES, apply for a VACCHO medical cadetship.

About the Cadetships

The VACCHO Aboriginal Medical Cadetship program is offering four cadetships over two years in a participating ACCO. These ACCOs are:

  1. Njernda Aboriginal Corporation in Echuca
  2. Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative in Shepparton
  3. Mallee District Aboriginal Services in Swan Hill, Kerang and Mildura
  4. Dhauwurd Wurrung Elderly and Community Health Services in Portland
  5. Budja Budja Aboriginal Co-operative in Halls Gap.

Read more about the participating ACCOs below.

This opportunity will be tailored to you and your ACCO’s work needs and will provide a unique opportunity to experience the rich programs and holistic care provided in ACCO settings.

Cadets will be paid a salary equivalent to an Aboriginal health worker (approximately $1248 per week whilst working) and you will be supported with travel and accommodation costs.

VACCHO’s Aboriginal Medical Cadetship program is the first recommendation under the first priority in our Statewide GP Workforce Strategy (download it here, PDF 1MB) to ‘Grow the Aboriginal GP workforce for Aboriginal communities’. The program will assist us position the Aboriginal community-controlled sector in Victoria as a strong ally of the Aboriginal medical workforce.

Time commitment required

You will engage in paid work in a supported role that contributes to your ACCO team from 4 – 12 weeks per year. The role and time required will be tailored to your university breaks and availability. Roles might include work in health promotion, social and emotional wellbeing, clinical operations and other areas. Our intention is that you develop great relationships and connection with Community, ACCO and Country.


Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander medical students currently enrolled in a medical degree at any Australian University are eligible to apply. Preference will be given to students who are from Victoria and have either completed high school in Victoria or have strong familial or connection to Victoria. Ideally you will have passion to contribute to the health outcomes of Aboriginal Communities and have a strong interest in being a future GP in the ACCO sector. Previous experience working in an ACCO will be an advantage.



For information about the Aboriginal Medical Cadetship Program and future opportunities contact VACCHO’s Statewide GP Workforce Strategy Project Coordinator, Gywn Low at gwynl@vaccho.org.au.

Participating ACCOs

Njernda Aboriginal Corporation, Echuca

Njernda’s vision is ‘Empowering our Aboriginal Community’ and Njernda’s purpose is to deliver community controlled, holistic services and programs which improve the physical, emotional, cultural and spiritual wellbeing of the Aboriginal Community of Echuca and surrounding areas.

Njernda’s Board writes:

“We believeour kids need to learn the power of their cultural heritage within our Community from our Respected Elders. We believe that children who develop identify through their culture will be able to move in and out of the broader community and achieve their aspirations without losing their cultural identity”

Read more about Njernda here


Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative, Shepparton

Since the establishment of Rumbalara as a Community Centre there have been many changes. The Medical Clinic was established in 1981 to provide the health services so desperately needed and continues to provide Community Controlled Health Services to our Community. Other services have expanded and new programs have been established to meet the growing needs of the Community.

Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative is recognized today as a key stakeholder in Aboriginal Health. Maintaining a high profile within the Public and Private Sectors in areas such as Research, Consultancy, Policy Development, and Partnerships.

Rumbalara operates in a culturally appropriate and sensitive Community Controlled environment that maintains a Holistic approach to service provision and emphasizes the importance of Family and Community.

Read more about Rumbalara here


Dhauwurd Wurrung Elderly and Community Health Services, Portland

Dhauwurd Wurrung Elderly & Community Health Service Inc (DWECHS) provides comprehensive general and allied health care while also offering a wide range of  support programs to the Portland community. 

DWECHS vision is:

Our service strives to provide our community members with access to a range of culturally appropriate and effective services, Which improve their physical, spiritual, psychological, social and  emotional health & wellbeing. Our philosophy is: To ensure the utmost privacy and confidentiality. To give the quality and quantity of time needed to each   patient. To provide the best possible advice and treatment to ensure a good healthy lifestyle.

Read more about DWECH here


Mallee District Aboriginal Services, Swan Hill, Kerang and Mildura

Mallee District Aboriginal Services is north west Victoria’s major service provider for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

With offices in Mildura, Swan Hill, Kerang and Robinvale, about 200 staff provide health, family, early years and wellbeing services for a potential client population of 5000 people in New South Wales and Victoria. MDAS vision is for: “Generations of vibrant, healthy and strong Aboriginal communities”

Read more about MDAS here


Budja Aboriginal Corporation, Halls Gap

Budja Budja is the traditional Aboriginal name for Halls Gap. The Clinic is located in the heart of the Gariwerd/Grampians National Park, in Country shared by Djab Wurrung and Jardwadjali Traditional Owner Groups.

The Co-op was established by the current CEO, Tim Chatfield, in 1999 with the aim of delivering a range of cultural, medical, health and well-being services to both the local Indigenous and non-Indigenous community.

The Cooperative is an initiative of the local Djab Wurrung Aboriginal Community and services the region encompassing Ararat, Stawell, Halls Gap and Gariwerd, Dunkeld, Mortlake, Dadswell Bridge and St Arnaud and all areas in-between.

Read more about Budja Budja here



The Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) is the peak body of Aboriginal health and wellbeing in Victoria with 32 Aboriginal Community Controlled Organizations as Members, 23 of which run an Aboriginal Medical Service. VACCHO Members support over 25,000 Aboriginal people in Victoria, and combined are the largest employers of Aboriginal people in the state.

About ACCOs

ACCOs have been founded and are governed by their local Aboriginal community to provide Aboriginal community members with holistic, comprehensive and high quality cultural and clinical care. Every ACCO is unique and an independent organization. The sector is the largest employer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria with well over half of staff being Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.