The Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative will be the strongest voice and presence in the Ballarat District, supporting and respecting our people, enhancing our community, growing our culture and honouring our heritage


The Ballarat And District Aboriginal Co-operative

The Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative (BADAC) was established by members of the Ballarat and district Aboriginal community in 1979. It became a co-operative to deliver health, social, welfare and community development programs to local Aboriginal people.

Since 1979, the organisation has grown considerably and now delivers a wide range of services, underpinned by its adaption of the Social Inclusion principles.


BADAC is the Aboriginal Community-Controlled Organisation (ACCHO) for the Ballarat and district area, covering 4 local government areas (LGAs). Our services are open to all members of the public, with priority given to our members.


BADAC is focused on prevention and early intervention, always with a client-centred approach, to ensure that our clients are personally engaging in the development and nurturing of their own futures.


Reflecting on Healing Country during NAIDOC Week

A TUMULTUOUS year of devastating fire, flood and the coronavirus pandemic makes a focus on healing Country a timely reminder for all Australians to consider, Ballarat Aboriginal leader Jon Kanoa says.


Healing Country is this year's theme for NAIDOC Week, a period of reflection and celebration led by National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee.


Mr Kanoa, who is Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative's chief operations officer, said for this region, the week was a chance for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to walk together and create positive spaces for discussion and education.


"It's a great opportunity to look at what it means for us to heal Country," Mr Kanoa said.


"Caring for Country, ultimately means Country cares for us. Respect Country and it can look after us spiritually, which is really important for us."


Read more from The Courier’s Melanie Whelan at: What does 'healing Country' mean for Ballarat this NAIDOC Week?

Image credit - The Courier: Sonni and Evie, Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative's Mr and Miss NAIDOC ambassadors, at the smoking ceremony to mark the start of NAIDOC week.



Platypus Tracks
Winter 2021

Read the Autumn Edition of Platypus Tracks


Perridak Burron Early Learning - Now Open

Perridak Burron Early Learning (PBEL), BADAC’s newest Early Childhood Education & Care service is now open. PBEL provides the community with an Aboriginal designed, managed and delivered early years learning service.


Read more: BADAC's first early learning centre Perridak Burron to open.



Perridak Burron (Platypus Children) will facilitate a culturally safe and rich learning environment where families and the community are collaborators in each child’s learning journey from birth through to school engagement. 


Register your interest at:


Calls for Stolen Generation memorial

This NAIDOC Week, Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative has renewed our call for a memorial to the Stolen Generation be erected in Sturt Street.

Aboriginal children were removed from all over Victoria and interstate and placed in one of Ballarat’s five orphanages. Many people stayed and brought up their families here. Ballarat’s Aboriginal community is very diverse, from many places of Country. Trauma continues to affect many of our community and their families. 


BADAC chief operating officer Jon Kanoa said a memorial on Sturt Street would open up a much-needed conversation in Ballarat.


"We need our survivors that actually were part of this and their families,” he said. “They need to have a say about what it looks like…we need their voice to guide us in this space.”


“We can't change the past, but what we can do is understand and educate each other about how we move forward from such a negative historic component from the Ballarat era especially," Mr Kanoa said.


Read more in The Courier’s Calls for a memorial to the Stolen Generations on Sturt Street on the eve of NAIDOC week

Image credit: Adam Trafford, The Courier

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NAIDOC 2021:

Heal Country

The NAIDOC 2021 theme – Heal Country! – calls for all of us to continue to seek greater protections for our lands, our waters, our sacred sites and our cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration, and destruction.

NAIDOC 2021 invites the nation to embrace First Nations’ cultural knowledge and understanding of Country as part of Australia's national heritage and equally respect the culture and values of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders as they do the cultures and values of all Australians.

Heal Country, heal our nation.

NAIDOC Week 2021 will be held from Sunday 4 July to Sunday 11 July.



Yirram Burron Early Childhood Service

Yirram Burron Early Childhood Service will open in 2021 in Sebastopol. 

This Aboriginal community kindergarten is vital to help Close the Gap for our rapidly growing community. This is Aboriginal self-determination in action,” Karen Heap, BADAC CEO.



Yirram Burron (Morning Children), will be a culturally welcoming, rich and safe early childhood education service that will deliver 3 and 4 year-old kindergarten programs within the heart of the Ballarat Aboriginal community. The service will embrace and embed Aboriginal perspectives into the service delivery, structural environment and educational curriculum.

Read more: The Courier: Culturally safe start in boost for Ballarat's first Indigenous kinder.