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Friday, 16 March 2018


More Aboriginal children and their parents in Bendigo will get access to culturally responsive services and care thanks to an Andrews Labor Government funding boost for a new Early Years Centre.

Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan MP and Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards MP today announced the Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-Operative would receive $800,000 through the Labor Government’s Regional Health Infrastructure Fund.

The $200 million fund – the largest of its kind in Victorian history – will rebuild rural and regional hospitals to ensure all Victorians can access the high quality care and facilities they need, no matter where they live.

The funding boost for Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-Operative will go towards building the second stage of the service’s $1.7 million state-of-the-art Early Years Centre.

The centre will give the Co-Operative the modern and efficient facilities they need to expand services to local Aboriginal families, from pregnancy to school age.

This will include facilities to cater for 22 three-year-old kinder places and 66 four-year-old kinder places.

Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-Operative provides holistic health and wellbeing services to support Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander families living in the Dja Dja Wurrung traditional area, including its Aboriginal Early Years’ Service, youth programs, health promotion programs and supports for children in out-of-home care, or at risk of homelessness or family violence.

The new Early Years Centre will boost access to these holistic and integrated services that improve the health, wellbeing and safety of Aboriginal children, focussing on prevention and early intervention.

Last year’s budget delivered $1.67 billion to support hospitals meet demand and provide high quality care Victorian patients deserve, including $428.5 million in new hospital upgrades.

The Labor Government has an ambitious new plan to revolutionise how Victoria’s health and human services work with Aboriginal communities. The Korin Korin Balit-Djak Aboriginal Health, Wellbeing and Safety Plan for the next 10 years puts Aboriginal self-determination front and centre in all of Victoria’s health and human services.

To support Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Organisations so they can thrive into the future, we are delivering a $7.1 million package for infrastructure improvements.

Quotes attributable to Member for Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards

“Aboriginal people know what works best for Aboriginal people. The Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-Operative is leading the way in ensuring care and services are culturally safe and responsive to the needs of Aboriginal people.”

“We’re putting patients first and revamping our rural and regional health services so more patients rural Victoria can be treated sooner, closer to home.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan

“The Labor Government has listened to Aboriginal voices and delivered a new way of supporting services that better meets the cultural needs and aspirations of Aboriginal communities in the Bendigo region.”

“Our investment will make a real difference to the lives of Aboriginal children and families across our state, with better access to the high quality early years services they need, when they need it.”

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