Aunty Muriel Bamblett, a Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung woman, became the CEO of VACCA in 1999, and continues in the position today. Since then VACCA has grown immensely, as has its influence.
VACCA has become the lead Aboriginal child and family organisation in Victoria, with almost 500 staff, 51% of whom identify as Aboriginal. It has six offices located across the state, and over 70 programs assisting thousands of people each year. As such, it is the largest organisation of its kind in Australia and one of Victoria’s biggest Aboriginal employers. It also trains organisations on how to work for Aboriginal people, and remains a strong advocate for their rights.
Despite dealing with difficult challenges, VACCA has great hope for the future. The next generation of proud, strong, Aboriginal young people is coming up connected to Community and Culture, and amidst negotiations on self-determination and treaty. As Aunty Muriel says,
After all these years, I am now more steadfast in my view than ever before that the wellbeing and safety of our children is to be with their families and communities. Surely the fact that 80% of our children are (now) being raised in their families and doing well attests to this.
CORRECTION 03/04/2020: This page previously stated that Muriel Bamblett was VACCA's first CEO. This is incorrect and we apologise for any offence or confusion this may have caused. VACCA acknowledges the immense contribution that all of our Program Managers and CEOs have made to the development of our organisation.