Cultural Strengthening Programs

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Connected to culture, connected to community

At VACCA, we know that the key to a strong future for young Aboriginal people is to ensure they know where they come from, who they are, and to have pride in their Aboriginal heritage. Our cultural strengthening programs keep children and young people connected to their culture and community, building resilience and a sense of belonging.

These programs and resources are important to young Aboriginal people, especially those who have disconnected or are at risk of disconnecting from culture because we know that those connections to culture, Country and community help create better life outcomes. Increased cultural knowledge supports healing, builds resilience, self-esteem and pride, and leading to better health and wellbeing, opportunities and reduces harm.

Who we work with

VACCA works with young people who are currently or have recently been in foster care, kinship care or residential care, to help them reestablish or maintain a connection to their Aboriginal heritage.

With the aim to support culturally safe and thriving Aboriginal children, families and communities, our cultural strengthening programs have been developed to help children and young people to maintain these connections through attending cultural camps, art programs, and access to online resources.

Cultural camps

Our cultural camps and activity days immerse children and young people in Aboriginal culture, so they can grow up feeling proud of their heritage while developing a strong sense of belonging.

At camps young people have the opportunity to engage in cultural activities, including painting, dancing, cooking bush tucker and playing traditional games. They also learn from Elders about local history, totems and stories, and share knowledge and learnings about songs, art, places, plants, animals and natural resources, aiming to foster long lasting connections with culture.

Art Mentoring and Narrun Yana Art Collective

Created from our Art Mentoring Program, Narrun Yana provides the opportunity for young Aboriginal people to use their skills and talents in the arts to connect, grow and develop economic opportunities.

Our Art Mentoring Program supports young people aged 15+ to develop their visual arts practice and techniques, create works, and learn about Victorian Aboriginal arts and culture. Translated as 'spirit journey' in the Woiwurrung language of the Wurundjeri people, Narrun Yana was created as a safe space for young people to work together in a creative environment that supports their progress towards economic independence, as well as provide professional development opportunities within the arts and cultural sector.

Digital Resources

Deadly Story and VACCA’s Cultural Hub are dedicated digital resources where children and young people can grow their cultural knowledge, and feel proud of who they are.

Developed specifically for Aboriginal children and young people in care, Deadly Story shares information, resources and events for carers, families and children to connect with their Country, their communities, and their culture and identity. The Cultural Hub celebrates Aboriginal culture, and is full of deadly activities and resources for children and young people and to help them get creative, grow their knowledge and connect to culture.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material. To listen to our Acknowledgement of Country, click here.