The Victorian Aboriginal community includes a number of communities and extended family networks. It is widely acknowledged that past practices have not had a positive effect on Aboriginal people. Current health and welfare policies acknowledge the impact of past policies and seek to work collaboratively for a better future.
Best Start promotes collaborative practice.
The Aboriginal Best Start Status Report adds to a body of knowledge that reinforces the importance Aboriginal people place on their children. Aboriginal people view their children as critical to their future and consider improving their children’s health and education outcomes as crucial. Aboriginal people want to provide leadership and direction to health, welfare and education services to provide a best start in life for their children.
The Aboriginal Best Start projects have been established to make sure that local Aboriginal communities and organisations are given every possible opportunity to influence outcomes for their children and families. These projects are designed to empower communities and families and develop broad cross-sectoral partnerships across all early years services to improve outcomes for Aboriginal children and their families.
Guiding all projects will be the Best Start evidence base and the Aboriginal Best Start Status Report that brings together Aboriginal cultural beliefs, knowledge about the key elements of child development and the factors that impact on Aboriginal children reaching their full potential.
Aboriginal Best Start sites
There are six Aboriginal Best Start project sites around Victoria:
Local example - Three Rivers Flow
The Njernda Aboriginal Best Start site conducted a four-day workshop with Koorie children from local primary schools and the Berrimba Childcare Centre. The workshop focused on three categories - culture, education and health. The kids worked together to write the lyrics to produce this music video about giving Yorta Yorta kids the best start in life, giving them so much confidence and pride.