VACCA CEO Muriel Bamblett awarded NAIDOC Person of the Year

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8 JULY 2024 

Victorian Aboriginal Child and Community Agency (VACCA) CEO Aunty Muriel Bamblett has been awarded Person of the Year at this year’s National NAIDOC Awards. 

Held on Tarndanya on Kaurna Yerta Country on Saturday 6 July, the National NAIDOC Awards celebrate the achievements and outstanding contributions being made by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to improve the lives of people in their communities and beyond. 
A Yorta Yorta, Dja Dja Wurrung, Taungurung, Boon Wurrung Elder, Aunty Muriel has led VACCA as CEO since 1999, tirelessly advocating for and advancing the interests of Aboriginal children, families and young people in Victoria. 
Under her leadership, VACCA has expanded the breadth and depth of its service delivery and grown to become more than 1,000 people strong, delivering more than 80 programs across the state. 
As the peak voice for Aboriginal children in Victoria, VACCA has advocated strongly for the right of Aboriginal children and young people to be raised in their own culture, surrounded by family and community. 

The strength of Aunty Muriel’s leadership has led to significant policy and legislative reforms, including changes to Victorian laws which now include recognition of connection to culture and community as critical for the best interests of Aboriginal children; decision making processes for Aboriginal children which include self-determination and the Aboriginal child placement principle; and the requirement for cultural support plans for Aboriginal children in out-of-home care. 
Aunty Muriel’s drive and commitment has ensured the success of Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care (ACAC), which is delivered by VACCA as our Nugel program. This is the first time in Australia that State power has been transferred back to the Aboriginal community. 
An inspiring person who is truly committed to the welfare of Aboriginal people, Aunty Muriel is strong advocate for voice for her community who never sways in her commitment to improve outcomes for children and families. 
Through her tireless work as CEO of VACCA and Chairperson of the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC), Aunty Muriel is shaping a brighter future for Aboriginal families in Victoria, inspiring the next generation of proud, strong leaders to continue this legacy of advocacy and empowerment.  
We congratulate Aunty Muriel on her incredible achievements, and celebrate her dedication to the safety, wellbeing and future prosperity of Aboriginal children, families, and communities.  

- ENDS - 



Beth Cesarin - Senior Manager, Communications and Public Affairs 
PH: 0439 117 408 E: 

Sarah Gafforini – Director, Office of the CEO VACCA 
T: 0427 621 421/ E: 



The Victorian Aboriginal Child and Community Agency (VACCA) is Victoria’s Peak Voice for Aboriginal children. We are the leading provider of Aboriginal child and family services, and the largest provider of services for Aboriginal family violence and homelessness. We have been supporting children, young people, and families in the community for over 47 years as an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO).  

Through our vision of self-determination – Live, Experience, and Be – we exist to support culturally strong, safe, and thriving Aboriginal communities. We deliver over 80 programs across Victoria including child and family services, family violence, support for stolen generations, child protection, cultural strengthening programs, mental health, financial services, justice and redress support, early years, and homelessness services.  


Image courtesy of Tiarna Stehr, ABC News.


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