Support Services and Programs

In this section of the website you will find information about major education support services and programs available for Koorie students and families. 

Here you can find contact information for services and support workers in your area, and information on education programs, scholarships and financial supports.

Although VAEAI is not directly involved in the delivery of these services and programs, we regularly monitor what services are available, and work with others to support education programs delivering good outcomes for our communities. VAEAI provides input into the development of Koorie student support services and programs, in response to community needs and aspirations.

A number of programs and services provide support for Koorie children in early childhood education, ranging from financial support to maternity to kinder programs.

If you are a Kindergarten service looking for support options, please see Support for Kindergarten Services. 

If you are a parent or a family of a Koorie student accessing Kindergarten services, please see Support for Koorie Parents and Families. 

Support for Kindergarten Services 

The ISP began 1 July 2016 to replace the Inclusion and Professional Support Programme (IPSP). It is funded by the Australian Government as a key component of the Child Care Safety Net and provides support to Early Childhood and Child Care (ECCC) services to build their capacity and capability to include children with additional needs in mainstream services; providing them with an opportunity to learn and develop alongside their typically developing peers.

The ISP is guided by the principles of: inclusion; equity of access; national consistency; an integrated approach; a strengths-based approach; self-sustaining and resilience of ECCC services – focussing on all children being seen as capable and contributing in their environment.

ISP provides support directly to ECCC services, however families and children with additional needs benefit through improved inclusion and capability for mainstream ECCC services to provide quality inclusive practices and address barriers to include children with additional needs. ECCC services eligible for support are:

  • Australian Government Approved Child Care Services, such as private and community centre based long day care, outside school hours care, including vacation care, family day care, occasional care, and in-home care;
  • Australian Government funded non-mainstream child care services (non-Child Care Benefit) such as flexible/multifunctional services, Multifunctional Aboriginal Children’s Services (MACS) and non-mainstream outside school hours care, non-formula funded occasional care (100 per cent Australian Government funded) and mobile child care services.

There is an Inclusion Agency in each state and territory. The Victorian Inclusion Agency Consortium (VIAC) is led by Community Child Care Association and delivered in partnership with Yooralla and KU Children’s Services. It partners with VAEAI, FKA Children’s Services and AMES Australia. VIAC operates in nine regions across the state.

VAEAI’s role is to be a specialist advisor on matters relating to Koorie children and families. This includes the provision of training, frameworks, guidelines, and community engagement strategies and the lead role in the engagement of Koorie communities to support the consortium.

Support to the six Multi-functional Aboriginal Children’s Services (MACS) in Victoria will be provided through the ISP. These services are:

MACS
Lulla’s Children and Family Centre Shepparton
Yappera Children’s Services Melbourne
Bung Yarnda Lake Tyers
Berrimba Echuca
Gunai Lidj Morwell
Murray Valley Robinvale

How to contact Victorian Inclusion Agency Consortium 

Community Child Care
T: 03 9486 3455
E: reception@cccinc.org.au
W: www.cccinc.org.au

KU Childrens Services
T: 0418 206 459
E: childrensservices@ku.com.au
W: www.ku.com.au

Yooralla
T: 03 5990 9640
E: yooralla@yooralla.com.au
W: www.yooralla.com.au

 

If your Kindergarten service is looking to include Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander content into your room there are a couple of steps to take.

The first point of contact should be towards your local Aboriginal Cooperative which can be found with a quick Google search. Your local Aboriginal Cooperative will have functional and culturally appropriate advice when presenting Aboriginal perspectives into a learning environment.

Another appropriate point of contact would be with a Koorie Preschool Assistant (KPSA), who are a part of the Koorie Early Childhood Education Program (KECEP).

Koorie Preschool Assistants work collaboratively with preschools to enhance Koorie access and participation in kindergartens, provide information and support to Koorie families and communities, support attendance of Koorie children, assist in the delivery of Koorie inclusive programs, encourage involvement of Koorie parents, families and carers in the development of kindergarten programs, and promote Koorie inclusive environments in kindergartens.

There are 11 organisations funded for KPSA.

  • Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative
  • Bendigo and District Aboriginal Cooperative
  • Mildura and District Aboriginal Services (Mildura)
  • Loddon Mallee Preschool Association (Swan Hill)
  • Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative (Geelong)
  • Winda-Mara Aboriginal Cooperative (Heywood)
  • Gunditjmara Aboriginal Cooperative (Warrnambool)
  • UnitingCare Gippsland (Sale)
  • Njernda Aboriginal Cooperative (Echuca)
  • Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Cooperative (Horsham)
  • Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (North Metropolitan area).

The online applications for the Early Childhood Scholarships Program are open on the Department of Education and Training’s website here 

Individuals can apply to study the courses listed below:

  • Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Carewith up to $2,500 paid in instalments for achieving enrolment, graduation and then working in an early childhood job for a minimum of twelve months
     Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care with up to $5,000 paid in instalments for achieving enrolment, graduation and then working in an early childhood job for up to twelve months
    • Bachelor degree that trains them to become an early childhood teacher, receives up to $26,500 paid in instalments for achieving enrolment, graduation and then working in as an early childhood teacher for a minimum of three years
    • Postgraduate qualification that trains them to become an early childhood teacher, receives up to $16,000 paid in instalments for achieving enrolment, graduation and then working as an early childhood teacher for a minimum of three years.

People may apply at any time, although they are not eligible if they are already studying an early childhood course.

Early childhood Aboriginal pathway scholarships (Certificate III to postgraduate level qualifications)

This option is for eligible Aboriginal people wanting to become an early childhood educator or teacher. Aboriginal applicants completing bachelor degree and post graduate qualification must meet the same conditions as the teaching scholarships. Those completing vocational training must enrol in one of the following eligible courses:

  • Certficate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (CH30113)
    • Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC50113)

These applicants are encouraged to consider studying at their local TAFE or alternative compliant registered training organisation.

If you have any question please email early.years.workforce@edumail.vic.gov.au or by phone number on 1300 651 662

 
Support for Koorie Parents & Families 

The Koorie Maternity Services (KMS) program, developed in partnership between the Department of Health and the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) provides culturally appropriate maternity care and support for Koorie and Torres Strait Islander women at 12 VACCHO sites across Victoria.

Contacts:

Department of Health
50 Lonsdale St
Melbourne
P: 9096 1407

VACCHO
17–23 Sackville Street,
Collingwood Vic 3066
P: 9411 9411
www.vaccho.org.au

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations

Koorie Maternity Services are offered in the following Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations:

Bairnsdale Gippsland & East Gippsland Aboriginal Cooperative
Dandenong Bunurong Health Service
Echuca Njernda Aboriginal Cooperative
Fitzroy Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS)
Geelong Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative Ltd.
Mildura Mildura Aboriginal Cooperation (or Mallee District Aboriginal Services)
Mooroopna Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative
Morwell Central Gippsland Aboriginal Health & Housing Service
Swan Hill Mallee District Aboriginal Services (formerly Swan Hill and District Aboriginal Cooperative Ltd.)
Gippsland Ramahyuck
Wodonga Mungabareena Aboriginal Cooperative
Warnambool Gunditjmara Aboriginal Cooperative

Best Start is a prevention and early intervention project that aims to improve the health, development, learning and wellbeing of all Victorian children from conception through to transition to school (usually 0-8 years old).

The Best Start approach is to strengthen the local capacity of parents, families and communities and early years services to better provide for the needs of all young children and their families. There are 30 Best Start sites, six of which are Aboriginal Best Start sites.

The Aboriginal Best Start projects have been established to ensure that local Aboriginal communities and organisations are given every possible opportunity to support positive outcomes for their children and families.

For more information visit Best Start or contact:

Victorian Aboriginal Community Services Association Ltd (VACSAL)
P: 9416 4266
W: www.vacsal.org.au

Best Start Sites

Individual Aboriginal Best Start sites include:

Delkaia Aboriginal Best Start Horsham 185 Baillie Street
Horsham
Phone: (03) 5362 4000
Fax: (03) 5382 1566
Djillay Lidj Aboriginal Best Start; Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Cooperation La Trobe and Baw Baw Drouin: (03) 5625 6500
Morwell: (03) 5136 5100
Sale: (03) 5143 1644
Wonthaggi: (03) 5672 1444
East Gippsland Aboriginal Best Start East Gippsland Early Years Services
East Gippsland Shire Council
273 Main Street
Bairnsdale
Phone: (03) 5153 9644
Mingo Waloom; Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative Wathaurong – Geelong 62 Morgan Street
North Geelong
Phone: (03) 5272 8827
Njernda Aboriginal Cooperation Echuca 86 Hare Street
Echuca 3564
Phone: (03) 5482 6566
Tartu-ngnanyin Bqoop; Dandenong and District Aboriginal Co-operative Ltd Dandenong and district 62 Stud Road
Dandenong
Phone: 9794 5973

 

Koorie IHS/HBL is available to all families with children identified as Aboriginal and aged from pre-birth up to school entry, including the transition to school period. The purpose of Koorie IHS/HBL is to build parenting capacity and wellbeing, through programs that are evidence-based and culturally safe, to produce a positive impact on the early learning and development of their children.

Koorie IHS/HBL is funded by the Department to achieve the following outcomes:

  1. Aboriginal children have improved learning, development and wellbeing outcomes through increased participation in key early childhood education and care services.
  2. Parents of Aboriginal children have improved parenting skills and confidence, resulting in enhanced parent-child interaction and improved parental wellbeing and functioning. This increases parents’ capacity to guide their child’s early learning and development, including a successful transition to kindergarten and school.
  3. Aboriginal families are supported to access other secondary and/or universal supports (e.g. community playgroups), and/or more intensive (tertiary) early childhood or specialist services.

Koorie IHS/HBL is delivered by five ACCOs in six sites:

  • Mildura and District Aboriginal Services – Mildura and Swan Hill
  • GEGAC – Bairnsdale
  • Rumbalara – Shepparton
  • VAHS – Melbourne
  • Wathaurong – Geelong

Koorie Families as First Educators (KFFE) supports Koorie families to provide a strong foundation for their children’s early learning and development by delivering high-quality, culturally responsive evidence-based parenting support programs (pre-birth to school age, including transition to school).

KFFE operates in Ballarat, Bendigo, Latrobe, Wodonga and Northern Metropolitan areas, areas identified with high numbers of Koorie children in out-of-home care and limited early childhood service provision.

Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) deliver KFFE by employing and supporting educators to work with Koorie parents/carers to build their capacity to support their children’s early learning and development. KFFE is delivered by:

  • Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative (BADAC)
  • Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative (BDAC)
  • Mungabareena Aboriginal Co-operative
  • Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA)

Multifunctional Aboriginal Children’s Services (MACS) are designed to meet the educational, social and developmental needs of Aboriginal children. The services provide long day care services and at least one other form of child care or activity, such as kindergarten programs, outside school hours care, play groups, nutrition programs and/or parenting programs to the community.
Berrimba 94 Hare Street, Echuca  P: 5481 1900
Gunai Lidj 5 Buckley Street, Morwell P: 5136 5147 or 5136 5128
Lullas Children and Family Centre 42 Harold Street, Shepparton P: 5831 5479
Robinvale 87 Latje Road, Robinvale P: 5051 8950
Bung Yarnda Rules Road, Lake Tyers Aboriginal Trust P: 5156 5718
Yappera 2 Watt Street, Thornbury P: 9416 8787

 

Koorie Preschool Assistants work collaboratively with preschools to enhance Koorie access and participation in kindergartens, provide information and support to Koorie families and communities, support attendance of Koorie children, assist in the delivery of Koorie inclusive programs, encourage involvement of Koorie parents, families and carers in the development of kindergarten programs, and promote Koorie inclusive environments in kindergartens.

There are 11 organisations funded for KPSA.

  • Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative
  • Bendigo and District Aboriginal Cooperative
  • Mildura and District Aboriginal Services (Mildura)
  • Loddon Mallee Preschool Association (Swan Hill)
  • Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative (Geelong)
  • Winda-Mara Aboriginal Cooperative (Heywood)
  • Gunditjmara Aboriginal Cooperative (Warrnambool)
  • UnitingCare Gippsland (Sale)
  • Njernda Aboriginal Cooperative (Echuca)
  • Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Cooperative (Horsham)
  • Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (North Metropolitan area).

Victoria has established two Aboriginal Children and Family Centres, one in the City of Whittlesea and one in Bairnsdale, East Gippsland Shire.

The centres provide a dynamic mix of early childhood and family support services, including long day care, kindergarten for three and four-year-old Aboriginal children, visiting professionals such as maternal and child health nurses, counsellors, midwives and other programs including In Home Support and Early Childhood Intervention Services.

Bubup Wilam Early Learning Children and Family Centre
76 Main Street Thomastown
P: 8459 4800
W: http://bubupwilam.org.au/

Dala Yooro
37-53 Dalmahoy Street
Bairnsdale VIC 3875
P: 03 51500700
W: http://ifp.mychild.gov.au/mvc/Preschool/Details/14489/Dala-Yooro

This program and its funding moved to the Department of Health and Human Services as part of Machinery of Government after the Nov 2018 election.

Koorie Supported Playgroups (KSP) aim to build the confidence, skills, and enhance parenting support networks and the home learning environment with Koorie parents and carers. KSPs also develop speech, cognitive development, social skills and emotional resilience of Koorie children.

KSP operates in Shepparton, Mildura, Swan Hill, South East and South West Metropolitan areas, areas identified as high need with limited access to services. ACCOs deliver KSP by employing and professionally supporting Koorie educator/s who deliver programs that build the capacity of Koorie parents/carers to support their children’s early learning and development.

Koorie Playgroups
Lulla’s Playgroup Shepparton
Black Cockatoos Playgroup Horsham
Milla Milla Playgroup North Geelong
Hamilton and Heywood Playgroup Heywood
BADAC Koorie Playgroup Ballarat

Aboriginal children can access up to two years of funded kindergarten prior to starting school. This funding is available in all kindergartens and long day care centres where a kindergarten program is delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher.

In addition to 15 hours of kindergarten in the year before school at no cost, three year old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children can also access up to 15 hours a week of a funded kindergarten program through Early Start Kindergarten. . To be eligible, children must be at least three years old by 30 April in the year that they are attending kindergarten.

For further information click here

Victoria has two Aboriginal Child and Family Centres in the City of Whittlesea and in Bairnsdale, East Gippsland. The centres provide early childhood and family support services, including long day care, kindergarten for three and four-year-old Aboriginal children, visiting maternal and child health nurses, counsellors, midwives and other universal services.

Bubup Wilam Early Learning Children and Family Centre
76 Main Street, Thomastown P: 8459 4800 W: http://bubupwilam.org.au/

Dala Yooro
37-53 Dalmahoy Street Bairnsdale VIC 3875 P: 03 51500700
W: http://ifp.mychild.gov.au/mvc/Preschool/Details/14489/Dala-Yooro

A range of Federal and State programs aim to provide support for Koorie students and develop education plans that assist students achieve their aspirations and outcomes.

If you are a Koorie student or parent and are seeking advice or support in public schooling, we recommend contacting your school and then getting in touch with your local Koorie Education Coordinator. Contact details for the Koorie Education Coordinators can be found here.  

Koorie Education Coordinator

Koorie Education Coordinators (KECs) are responsible for leading the Department of Education and Training’s (DET) regions implementation of the education strategy. There are nine KECs across Victoria that co-ordinate and support the Koorie Student Support Team and work with VAEAI and other stakeholders to implement the strategy.

KECs can assist schools, Koorie students and schools with guidance on assistance on a range of programs and initiatives. You can contact your regional KEC through your DET Regional Office (listed above) for further information and advice.

 
Koorie Engagement Support Officers

Koorie Engagement Support Officers (KESOs) are an integral part of Victoria’s state education system. KESOs support Koorie children and their families with assistance to make the journey through primary and secondary school as seamless as possible.

KESOs focus specifically on the engagement of Koorie students, families and communities within the government school and early childhood systems, as well as kindergartens and other areas of early childhood.

KESOs connect with other relevant internal (school and regional staff) and external support workers to assist family engagement.

KESO contact information can be obtained through each region’s KEC (see contact details above).

Programs

Victorian government schools are required to work with Koorie students and families to develop Individual Education Plans. The plans aim to provide wrap around support for students and to explicitly detail student aspirations and develop an education plan that assists students achieve agreed outcomes.

If you are a Koorie student or parent and are seeking advice or support in public schooling, we recommend contacting your school and then getting in touch with your local Koorie Education Coordinator. Contact details for the Koorie Education Coordinators can be found here.

DET has 4 regional offices, which further divides the state into 17 Local Education Areas.  For more information see the DET website.

Regional offices are located at:

  North Eastern Victoria Region

Benalla

Postal address: PO Box 403, Benalla VIC 3672
Location: 150 Bridge Street East, Benalla VIC 3672
Phone: (03) 8392 9500
Fax: (03) 8392 9502

Email: nevr@edumail.vic.gov.au

Glen Waverley

Location: Level 3, 295 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley VIC 3150
Phone: (03) 8392 9300
Fax: (03) 8392 9333

Email: nevr@edumail.vic.gov.au

  North Western Victoria Region

 Bendigo

Postal address: PO Box 442, Bendigo VIC 3552
Location: 7-15 McLaren Street, Bendigo VIC 3550
Phone: (03) 5440 3111
Fax: (03) 5442 5321

Email: nwvr@edumail.vic.gov.au

 Coburg

Postal address: Locked Bag 2001, Coburg VIC 3058
Location: Level 2, 189 Urquhart Street, Coburg VIC 3058
Phone: (03) 9488 9488
Fax: (03) 9488 9400
Melway ref: Map 17 K12

Email: nwvr@edumail.vic.gov.au

South Eastern Victoria Region

 Dandenong

Postal address: PO Box 5, Dandenong VIC 3175
Location: 165-169 Thomas Street, Dandenong VIC 3175
Phone: (03) 8765 5600
Fax: (03) 8765 5666

Email: sevr@edumail.vic.gov.au

 Moe

Postal address: PO Box 381, Moe VIC 3825
Location: Corner Kirk and Haigh Streets, Moe, VIC 3825
Phone: (03) 5127 0400
Fax: (03) 5126 1933

Email: sevr@edumail.vic.gov.au

South Western Victoria Region

Ballarat

Postal address and location: 109 Armstrong Street North, Ballarat VIC 3350
Phone: (03) 5337 8444
Fax: (03) 5333 2135

Email: swvr@edumail.vic.gov.au

 Geelong

Postal address: PO Box 2086, Geelong VIC 3220
Location: 5A Little Ryrie Street, Geelong VIC 3220
Phone: (03) 5225 1000

Email: swvr@edumail.vic.gov.au

Footscray

Postal address: PO Box 2141, Footscray VIC 3011
Location: 900/1 McNab Avenue, Footscray VIC 3011
Phone: (03) 8397 0300
Fax: (03) 8397 0303

Email: swvr@edumail.vic.gov.au

The Marrung Education Scholarship is available to high achieving Koorie students studying year 11 and 12 in Victorian government schools. Up to $5000 over two years is available to successful applicants.

Up to 20 scholarships are awarded at the start of each education year.

For more information contact your local Koorie Education Coordinator Officer.

In 2012 VAEAI and the North Western Victorian Region of DET piloted the Koorie Academy of Excellence (KAE). The KAE is about helping students complete school while developing their confidence, self-belief and know-how to successfully pursue their goals, aspirations and dreams.

The KAE has continues to grow and provides an environment that compliments students’ day to day learning. Academy members are exposed to a broad range of leadership, cultural and social activities that are designed to get them really thinking about what they are good at, what they enjoy and what they aspire to.

For more information regarding the Koorie Academy of Excellence, please contact contact Tyson Austin or Sharna Colgan the Koorie Academic Liaison Officers.

AIME provides a dynamic educational mentoring program that gives Indigenous high school students the skills, opportunities, belief and confidence to finish school at the same rate as their peers. AIME has proven to dramatically improve the chances of Indigenous kid’s finishing school. AIME also connects students with post Year 12 opportunities, including further education and employment.

AIME delivers a range of different programs, for students in years 9-12 in Victoria. The Core Program targets local Indigenous high school students who attend schools that are able to visit an AIME partner university campus on a weekly basis. The Outreach Program extends the AIME experience to Indigenous high school students from further afield through a more intensive full day format.

To find out more about AIME and how you can get involved, click here. 

The Clontarf Foundation exists to improve the education, discipline, self esteem, life skills and employment prospects of young Aboriginal men and by doing so, equip them to participate more meaningfully in society.

Clontarf has a number of academies across Australia including five in Victoria at, Bairnsdale, Mildura, Swan Hill, Robinvale and Warnambool. The academies aim to boost attendance rates and learning outcomes at school by helping students develop self-esteem and positive attitudes towards health, education and employment.

Academies expose participants to a wide range of life experiences which aim to challenge and develop students and reward their achievements with trips and exposure to new challenges.

For more information about your closest academy please click here.

Wannik Dance Academies are an initiative of DET and aim to provide an educational program based around dance for Years 7 – 10 female Koorie students.

The academies were established 2010 and are located at Ballarat, Eaglehawk and Mooroopna Secondary Colleges. They offer a specific dance program aligned to the regular school curriculum.

For more information contact participating schools or the Wannik unit at DET – wannik@edumail.vic.gov.au


Scholarships & Financial Support 

The Department of Education is a federal government department that has a number of programs that may assist Koorie students and families.

For more information on these programs and services please visit the website.

Assistance is also available for Koorie children attending Catholic schools in Victoria. The Catholic Education Office Melbourne has an Indigenous Education Team that provides a consultancy service to schools to better engage Koorie students and families.

The Indigenous Education Team can provide advice regarding primary funding to support literacy and numeracy, secondary funding either school based or home tutoring, professional learning activities for teachers to assist with the implementation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in the Australian Curriculum. The team can also provide suggestions for appropriate cultural activities such as National Reconciliation and NAIDOC weeks.

For further information please contact the Indigenous Education Team on (03) 9267 0228.

The Indigenous Youth Leadership Program (IYLP)

IYLP offers scholarships and leadership opportunities to young Indigenous Australians with a focus on Indigenous youth from remote and regional communities. It aims to promote educational excellence and cultural inclusion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

The IYLP provides up to $16,250 to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to attend high performing secondary schools (government and-non government, day and boarding) and/or universities to complete Year 12 and/or an undergraduate degree.

There are IYLP Partnership Brokers in Victoria who can help students and their families apply to be part of the IYLP: Madec and Yalari.

The Rosemary Bishop Indigenous Education Scholarship Program is run by Yalari. It is available for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from regional, rural and remote communities throughout Australia who are starting their first year of secondary education. Each year Yalari offers 50 full boarding school scholarships.

Yalari scholarships usually open in early January, the year before the student is due to begin their first year of secondary education (e.g. Yalari scholarships will open for applications on 3rd January 2018 for students starting secondary school in 2019). Applications for Yalari scholarships close on 30th April for students commencing high school the following year. When you apply for the Rosemary Bishop Indigenous Education Scholarship you will need to include in your application:

  • Application form (ALL questions completed).
  • Latest school results.
  • A reference from school Principal, teachers or a respected member of your community.
  • A 250 word hand written response outlining why you think a scholarship should be awarded to you and why you want to go to boarding school.
  • A recent photo of the applicant.
  • Completed medical form.
  • Most recent NAPLAN test results.
  • Copy of your birth certificate.

For more information on these scholarships, click here.

The Opening the Doors Foundation addresses the severe educational disadvantage still being experienced by many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, by providing assistance so that they are able to choose and successfully maintain a positive education environment for their children.

enquiries@openingthedoors.org.au

T: 03 9443 9070


VET, Higher Education & Training has become a fantastic pathway into qualifications and further employment opportunities.

The Free TAFE initiative delivered in collaboration with TAFE Victoria provides a wealth of opportunities for Koorie learners looking to gain qualifications. 

There are three different forms of education and training providers within Victoria’s VET sector; Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutions, Learn Local centres and private Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), also referred to as private providers.

For further support or information, make sure you contact the institute that you wish to study at to get in contact with their Koorie Liaison Officer (KLO). 

Most recognised educational institutes will have a Koorie Liaison Officer that can assist you with your journey. 

Institutes

TAFEs, polytechnics and dual sector universities are public training providers located across metropolitan Melbourne and in regional Victoria.

They offer a range of high quality courses that provide pathways into jobs or into further study.

The Free TAFE initiative offers a range of courses with financial compensation. To view a list of these opportunities please click here

There are a large range of institutes that encourage Koorie learners to study and gain qualifications. If you are looking to study but aren’t sure how to go about it, we recommend researching a course that interests you and then inquiring if it can be studied at your preferred institution.

Learn Local organisations across Victoria offer a range of education and training programs designed to meet your learning needs. There’s a government registered Learn Local in your community that can help you return to study, improve your reading, writing and mathematics skills, gain a qualification, get a job or learn something new

There is a Learn Local organisation near you that offers a range of adult community education and training programs for people from all walks of life. Courses range from basic computer skills to Certificates and Diplomas in business or community services. The focus is on individual needs, tailoring programs for both the learner and businesses.

Information on Learn Local organisations including what and where you can study can be found here 

Victoria’s training system puts choice in the hands of students. With an incredible range of RTOs (including TAFEs, Learn Locals and private providers) offering thousands of VET courses, students can choose the course, delivery mode and provider that best meets their needs.

Each of these providers differs in their mode of course delivery, course availability and target student population.

To find a course or training provider click here

For a list of Registered Training Organisations click here

Koorie Registered Training Organisations
Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO)

Since 2000 VACCHO has been delivering training on behalf of its member organizations. The training has delivered qualifications in Aboriginal Primary Health Care to Aboriginal Health Workers employed in the VACCHO Member Services.

In addition to the core health worker training, VACCHO’s Education and Training Unit delivers programs related to cultural awareness, practice management, Aboriginal in home support and improving the culture within hospitals.

For more information, click here

Victorian Aboriginal Community Services Association Ltd. (VACSAL)

Since 2014, VACSAL has been delivering qualifications in Certificate III and IV in Community Services work. Dr Alfred Bamblett’s vision was to include “cultural integrity at the heart of every learning journey”.

In addition to the accredited qualifications, VACSAL’s RTO program delivers training in ‘building teacher capacity to better support Aboriginal learners’ and ‘working more effectively with Aboriginal people’. VACSAL is also the preferred training program for the Koorie Coordinated Care (KCC) model. For more information please visit VACSAL’s website here.

Victorian Registered Training Providers offer a range of other courses from Certificates to Advanced Diplomas. Information on courses available can be found here.

Programs

Skills and Job Centres are located across Victorian TAFES and dual sectors.

The Centres provide services for prospective students, employers, apprentices, trainees, and unemployed or transitioning workers.

Each Centre provides a starting point – a place to get advice on job opportunities and vocational training and be linked to a range of services.

For more information please see: Skills and Job Centres.

An apprenticeship or traineeship is a training contract between an employer and an employee in which the apprentice or trainee learns the skills needed for a particular occupation or trade.

An apprenticeship or traineeship can be undertaken on a full-time or part-time basis and can be used as a valuable stepping stone to start a career in an industry you want to work in.

Apprenticeships and traineeships combine time at work with training and can be full-time, part-time or school-based. The majority of training is offered through TAFE institutes.

If you want to learn more about apprenticeships and traineeships click here

VAEAI are constantly working on establishing and bettering learning opportunities for Koories in the Corrections system.

For more information on what is available, please see the Department of Corrections website

Corrections Victoria – Education, Training and Employment Unit
Exhibition Street, Melbourne
P: 8684 7114

Scholarships & Financial Support

Most TAFE courses come with associated fees. General information on course fees can be found here  

The Free TAFE initiative delivered in collaboration with TAFE Victoria provides a wealth of opportunities for Koorie learners looking to gain qualifications with financial compensation.

For Indigenous secondary or tertiary student or a full-time Australian Apprentice, Abstudy may help students stay at school or go on to further studies. Abstudy includes a fortnightly living allowance and other payments to help with the costs of studying. Find out more here or contact Abstudy Centrelink on 1800 132 317.

Student loans under the Government HECS/ HELP programs are also available to assist students to participate in TAFE, University and some private registered training organisations. Information on student loans can be found here.

Some TAFEs and Universities offer scholarships that are sometimes linked to study in a particular area. Go to your TAFE or University website for specific information.

We recommend that once you have decided what to study, and where, contacting your institute of choice on the scholarship opportunities available for Koorie learners.

Alternatively, click here for a helpful scholarship registry tool. 


Information about University Koorie Units, Indigenous Staff Scholarships and financial assistance programs which aim to improve higher education retention rates and outcomes for Indigenous students.

Programs 

Indigenous Higher Education Units are located in universities around Victoria.

These Units provide support to Indigenous students, further Indigenous academic studies, create a network of Indigenous students and academics and provide an Indigenous presence on university campuses.

Scholarships & Financial Support

For Indigenous secondary or tertiary student or a full-time Australian Apprentice, Abstudy may help students stay at school or go on to further studies. Abstudy includes a fortnightly living allowance and other payments to help with the costs of studying. Find out more here.

Student loans under the Government HECS/ HELP programs are also available to assist students to participate in TAFE, University and some private registered training organisations. Information on student loans can be found at here.

Some TAFEs and Universities offer scholarships that are sometimes linked to study in a particular area. Go to your TAFE or University website for specific information.

We recommend that once you have decided what to study, and where, contacting your institute of choice on the scholarship opportunities available for Koorie learners.

Alternatively, click here for a helpful scholarship registry tool. 

The inclusion of Aboriginal histories, cultures and perspectives in early childhood and school education is a relatively new phenomenon in Australia. In early childhood, this is paramount to developing a strong sense of identity, connection and place identified in the Victorian Early Years Learning Framework, and in aspects of belonging, being and becoming highlighted in the National Early Years Learning Framework.

In schools, this shift is essential to improving education standards overall including systemically, and working towards greater understanding and reconciliation overall. Both the Australian Curriculum and the Victorian Curriculum highlight Aboriginal perspectives and content as a cross-curricular priority, with learning opportunities embedded across all subject areas. To deliver the curriculum effectively and respectfully, schools and educators require guidance, community involvement, resources and program support.  

Learning about Aboriginal histories and cultures by the Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority (VCAA), summarises Koorie curriculum content across the Victorian Curriculum.

Koorie Education Resources support educators and learners to access curriculum-linked information about Victorian Aboriginal histories and cultures in particular; and to locate appropriate and engaging teaching tools and resources.  . 

Aboriginal Languages Education in early childhood, schools and VET supports and facilitates the inclusion of Aboriginal cultural studies, and benefits the education community as a whole. It stimulate language awareness and greater understanding in the broader community, and can enhance language reclamation, learning and revival activities in the local Koorie community. For students of all ages, Aboriginal languages education is reportedly a very engaging and positive education experience.

If you are a community member, teacher, kindergarten or school looking to introduce an Aboriginal Languages Program to your service, have a look at the Koorie Languages in Schools Programs below or contact us at VAEAI.

 

There are now over 1800 Victorian students learning a Victorian Aboriginal language at school .

This is in part because of the  Koorie Languages in Schools Program first piloted in 2012, and developed from the strong and long-term desire of Koorie families and communities for language and cultural learning in education.

Eleven schools across the state are delivering a Victorian Koorie Language Program, involving seven Victorian Languages and on Northern Territory Language.

The program is founded on a strong partnership formed by the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc. (VAEAI), the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages (VACL), the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) and the Department of Education and Training (DET) to support their introduction.

What makes this program unique and successful is the collaborative effort behind it, and the protocols in place to support it. For example, all Victorian Aboriginal language programs in schools must have school council, Traditional Owner and Koorie Community support ideally through their Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (LAECG) before commencing. VAEAI can assist in this negotiation process where needed.

Classes are for all students in the target levels – Koorie and non-Koorie: and all schools are teaching the traditional Aboriginal languages of the peoples whose land the school is situated on.

A dedicated website has been established  to further support schools since the introduction of Koorie languages in schools, with a getting started guide, sample units and other language references and links.

Since  2017, all Victorian government schools have been teaching to the new Victorian Curriculum..  Aboriginal Languages are a formal part of this curriculum along with Auslan and other international languages.  The Victorian Curriculum – Victorian Aboriginal Languages  – available online – has been developed by the VCAA in partnership with VAEAI and VACL.

Follow these links to learn more about the Koorie Languages in Schools Pilot  and other school-based language programs and initiatives.

Dedicated VCAA website for schools and community members – On this site, you will find steps to starting a school-based Aboriginal language program, resources and related links, and sample teaching units:
Click here 

The Victorian Curriculum – Victorian Aboriginal Languages:
Click here

The Australian Curriculum – Framework For Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages:
Click here

Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) is the peak Aboriginal health body representing 24 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) in Victoria.

17–23 Sackville Street, 
Collingwood Vic 3066
P: 9411 9411 
www.vaccho.org.au

Victorian Aboriginal Community Services Association Ltd (VACSAL) VACSAL employs a group of community based staff who work to build community strength and decision making. VACSAL also runs a range of youth and family services.

171 Smith street, Fitzroy, VIC 3065
Phone: (03) 9416 4266

Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) is the lead Aboriginal child and welfare organisation looking after Aboriginal children and keeping families strong.

139 Nicholson Street
East Brunswick, 3057
P: 8388 1855
www.vacca.org

Koorie Heritage Trust aims to protect, preserve and promote the living culture of the Aboriginal people of south-eastern Australia.

259 King Street
Melbourne, 3000
P: 8622 2600
www.koorieheritagetrust.com

Connecting Home – providing support and advice to members of the Stolen Generation.

14 Gipps Street
Collingwood, 3066
P: 8679 0777
www.connectinghome.org.au

Djirra provides assistance to victims of family violence and sexual assault and works with families and communities affected by violence.

Level 3, 70-80 Wellington Street
Collingwood, 3066
P: 9244 3333
Freecall: 1800 105 303
www.djirra.org.au/

Aborigines Advancement League provides a number of services to Koorie people, including family support, food assistance, home visits, advocacy, counselling and educational programs, drug and alcohol awareness and funeral services.

2 Watt Street
Thornbury, 3071
P: 9480 7777

Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) provides services and support to address the specific medical needs of Victorian Indigenous people and communities.

186 Nicholson Street
Fitzroy, 3065
P: 9419 3000
www.vahs.org.au

Victorian Aboriginal Housing Board manages housing assistance to the Aboriginal community.

125 Scotchmer Street
Fitzroy North, 3068
P: 9482 4585

Aboriginal Community Elders Services (ACES) provides aged care services including accommodation and a Daycare Centre. There is also an Elders Cultural Centre.

5 Parkview Ave
East Brunswick, 3057
P: 9383 4244
www.acesinc.org.au

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