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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.


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How investing in pre-schoolers will pay big dividends into the future

Ned, 3, serves 'breakfast' to Ballarat MP Catherine King and federal minister for early childhood education Anne Aly at Yirram Burron Early Learning Centre in Sebastopol where it was announced Ballarat would become a site for the Connected Beginnings program to improve outcomes for First Nations children. Picture by Lachlan Bence

Every year more than 200 First Nations babies are born in Ballarat and a new program will work to ensure their first five years of life set them up for the best possible future.

Ballarat will become a site of the Connected Beginnings program, which connects First Nations children aged from birth to five with a range of early childhood health, education and family support services to help children meet the milestones needed for a positive transition to school.

Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative (BADAC) will run the program in Ballarat with $1.8 million of funding from the federal government.

"By the time children reach school at age five or six, 90 per cent of their brain development has already happened. This includes setting the foundation for their future learning, health, well-being and includes how they relate to others and their resilience in the face of stress and challenges," Dr Aly said.

The program draws on traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural and education practices of wrapping around a child, ensuring that a child's whole holistic needs are met, that their whole well-being is looked after.

The program will support around 350 First Nations children across Ballarat.

You can read the full story by Michelle Smith from The Courier at:

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