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.


BADAC's Yirram Burron Early Learning in Sebastopol fills a gap in education and culture for young Aboriginal children

Aboriginal families have embraced a new child care centre and kindergarten built to support the city's growing indigenous community and break down barriers they have faced in getting equal access to early childhood education and day care.

The new Yirram Burron Early Learning Centre, whose name means Morning Child, was officially opened this week during National Reconciliation Week.

"Demand is high and it's timely for us to be doing this because we need to ensure that our Aboriginal children get early support in education. That's really important because it gives them a good grounding before they get to primary school," said BADAC chief executive Karen Heap.

"Every single decision made in the service, whether it's a picture to hang on the wall, a cushion purchase or learning opportunity ... is made with an Aboriginal perspective or lens with all our decision-making led via our cultural team about what is appropriate and respectful," Ms Brown said.

"Every family in Australia, not just Indigenous, all work differently. No two families do things the same but having an Aboriginal service who is more aware and more comfortable with Aboriginal child rearing strategies and ways of learning helps our families feel more secure."

View the full story from The Courier's

Michelle Smith at:

Image credit: Lachlan Bence - The Courier

CULTURE: Peter, 3, Kobe, 4, Ned, 2 and Ben, 4, get creative at Yirram Burron Early Learning in Sebastopol with staff Ashleigh Moore and Joan Maule.

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Reconciliation Week in Ballarat 2022: Cafs work on Healing Scars

ARTIST Shu Brown says healing is needed both for the past and future, but there was progress.

The Ballarat Adnyamathanha man, whose traditional lands are in South Australia's Flinders Ranges, has created Healing Scars for Cafs and their ongoing reconciliation work.

Mr Brown has unveiled his work for Child and Family Services Ballarat's Reconciliation Week celebrations on Monday, including the re-naming of meeting rooms in First Nations language.

Healing Scars features figures in "all shades of black" to represent Indigenous peoples of varying skin colours. They sit before scars and are connected by hearts.

"They are working with families and children to support them in keeping children in family care. It's not only children, Cafs is working with the elderly and Stolen Generations, including where people came from to orphanages here.

Cafs chief executive officer Wendy Sturgess said the organisation's work, in partnership with Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative, was about ongoing healing.

Ms Sturgess said Cafs commissioned Mr Brown's artwork to help in the change process. Looking closely, the colour scheme used in Healing Scars is based on Cafs' colours.

View the full story from The Courier's

Melanie Whelan at:

Image credit: Adam Trafford - LOOKING FORWARD: Shahan Brown created the feature artwork Healing Scars' for Cafs' ongoing reconciliation work.

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Indigenous youth court bigger art goals after this exhibition

WHAT started as a design to raise a few hundred dollars to boost a youth camp has expanded 10-fold into the prospect of a new basketball half-court.

Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative's youth group staged an art exhibition with their work at Housey Housey this week and, after announcing the idea, added works donated from day care groups and local Indigenous artists.

The collection they pieced together raised more than $4000 from the exhibition and the group has begun planning how they could sell more works to bring a basketball court to their Beverin Street hub.

BADAC youth team member Jane Marini said young artists had been keen to talk about their work and the stories behind pieces with interested buyers and art admirers.

"Their little faces light up whenever someone is interested in their art," Ms Marini said. "We couldn't have done this without about 200 extra people involved."

So close to realising their dream goal, Ms Marini confirmed the youth group would also still have the boost it needed to go on the camp they had originally set as a fundraising goal.

View the full story from The Courier's

Melanie Whelan at:

Image credit: Rachael Green - BRIGHT NOTES: Macy and Jane Marini explore Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative's youth art exhibition this week.

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Platypus Tracks
Winter 2022

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