Funding boost for Closing the Gap welcomed, but must filter down to Aboriginal communities

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On the 24th June, the Victorian Government announced an additional $5 million funding boost to continue support for Closing the Gap and work towards achieving targets set out in the new National Agreement.   

This funding is an essential component to ensuring there is significant investment in Aboriginal community-controlled organisations (ACCOs) to work towards improving outcomes for Aboriginal peoples and to ensuring our children and families grow up healthy, thriving and connected to culture.  

The new National Agreement was released in 2020 and outlines a new and refreshed way for Aboriginal communities and the Victorian government to work in partnership to address the systemic and structural reforms necessary to make impactful and sustained change. Focusing on issues that disproportionately affect our families including health, justice, out- of-home-care, education, family violence, early childhood and social and emotional wellbeing.  

VACCA CEO Adjunct Professor Muriel Bamblett, AO says “It is crucial that this funding is equally filtered between ACCOs across Victoria, recognising failures of the previous agreement to form a true partnership with Aboriginal Victorians and the lack of investment in our communities to respond to the needs of our peoples.” 

Under this new National Agreement, each state and territory are also developing their own Closing the Gap Implementation Plan. On the 23rd June, Victoria became the first jurisdiction to table their Implementation Plan and after working closely with the ACCO sector and the Victorian Government to develop it, VACCA looks forward to progressing this essential reform work towards better outcomes, in particular reducing the over-representation of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care by 45 per cent by 2031.   

“This plan will place a significant resource burden on Aboriginal organisations but we are ready to rise to the challenge. It is time we all look at how we can Close the Gap for Aboriginal children, their families and the community. The ACCO sector will lead meaningful solutions and we can’t wait ”- CEO Muriel Bamblett. 

“We cannot Close the Gap without a genuine investment in Aboriginal community controlled organisations”  

For all media enquiries please contact Sarah Gafforini, Director Office of the CEO | sarahg@vacca.org 

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