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.


Ballarat continues to lead regional Victoria in the race to vaccinate Indigenous Australians

Ballarat's Indigenous population continues to boast the highest vaccination rate in regional Victoria, according to the most recent data released by the federal government.

Almost 89 per cent of First Nations people aged 15 and over in the Ballarat local government area have received two doses, up from 78 per cent six weeks ago, with close to 92 per cent having received their first jab.

"Those high rates are really pleasing to see," Mr Kochskamper said. "I want to thank our mob, our community, for arming up and getting our first, second and booster doses."


"We've had partnerships with VACCHO [Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation] and that's where we're really hitting some runs - we're all working collectively together."

Citing the threat posed by the recent explosion in cases caused by the Delta-Omicron wave, Mr Kochskamper said it was critical First Nations people continued to prioritise their vaccination.

"Every new strain, whether Delta or Omicron, is a concern," he said.

"That's why we're still urging our community to come in and get their vaccine whether it'd be their first, or second, or their booster shot. Because in the end that's the best way we're going to protect ourselves and our elders."

BADAC is currently accepting vaccination bookings for children aged 5 to 11 years in preparation for the January 10 commencement date.

View the full story from The Courier's  Maeve McGregor at:


Image credit: Luke Hemer, The Courier

Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative (BADAC) practice manager Paul Kochskamper.

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'It is breaking a big cycle': new approach to Aboriginal families in child protection system

Long-term, culturally-safe, intensive work is required to break the cycle of child protection involvement in Aboriginal families, leaders say.

Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative, in partnership with Cafs, has been leading the family preservation and reunification response in the Ballarat region.

BADAC Koorie Family Services manager Aunty Leah Keegan said historically, children were removed and families had no voice in decision making, but this new response put family's voices at the forefront.

"Our families have never had the chance to be a part of decision making in the past," she said.

"This program is very important in terms of reunification and preservation of our families and them not just going into the system and being lost.

"Historically our families have been ripped apart and that is ongoing for us to try to heal the community.

"Our families don't know how to be families, some of them. We need to help them in that sense of what a family is."

The program has been running since September 2020 and staff have worked with 13 families.

Families can be referred to the program from other services and a Department of Health and Human Services staff member works to identify families in the child protection system who would benefit.

Cafs and BADAC ran the program for phase one and the state government has boosted funding and is now rolling it out to other organisations across the state.

View the full story from The Courier's Rochelle Kirkham at:


Image credit: Adam Trafford

WORKING FOR FAMILIES: BADAC team members Shelley Lillyst, Michelle Thorne, Nathan Finley, Aunty Leah Keegan, Stacy Kanoa and Belinda Hayden.

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Aboriginal families connect to culture, community at Christmas event

Ballarat's Aboriginal families were gifted an afternoon filled with joy, laughter and connection with community in the lead up to Christmas.

Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative hosted the annual BADAC Christmas Tree event on Friday afternoon.

BADAC youth team leader Aaron Clarke said many staff members donated $1 of their pay each week to fund the event and the purchase of presents for children aged zero to 12.

Staff also purchased and wrapped the presents for 250 children.

"We work with a lot of families who are struggling," he said.

"It is a great opportunity for some of the families that might be struggling a bit but also to get the community back together again.

"Staff get to see the reactions on the kids' faces when they get to see Santa and unwrap their presents. It does make it worthwhile."

You can see the full story from

The Courier's Rochelle Kirkham at:


Image credit: Adam Trafford, The Courier.

JOY: BADAC Koori youth engagement officer Nikki Bell and youth services team leader Aaron Clarke with Santa and a group of children at the BADAC Christmas tree event.

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New Cancer Council Victoria campaign encourages cervical cancer self-collection test uptake

Ballarat residents have been encouraged to take advantage of a new cervical cancer screening test in Cancer Council Victoria's latest campaign.

Eligible women and people with a cervix have been called to make the most of the less invasive self-collection option, which will be widely available from July 1 2022.

Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-Operative nurse cervical screening provider Sandy Anderson said the self-collected cervical screen's availability through research projects at her organisation had almost doubled the uptake among BADAC's patients.

"Women who [have had] an examination traditionally with a speculum, [have found] it's a very invasive process," she said.

Ms Anderson said the federal government's announcement to make self-collection screening universally available next year will also be of great benefit to culturally diverse populations.

You can see the full story from

The Courier's William Huynh at:


Image credit: Luke Hemer

Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative nurse Sandy Anderson

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Platypus Tracks
Spring 2021

Read the Spring Edition of Platypus Tracks

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