The Victorian Aboriginal Community Services Association Limited (VACSAL), in partnership with the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated (VAEAI) and the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO), was commissioned by the Department of Human Services to identify the most appropriate ways to engage Aboriginal children and their parents in early years service activity. The status report draws together data about the health, development, learning and well-being of Aboriginal children living in Victoria.
The status report, commissioned in 2004, still holds relevance for working with the Aboriginal community in 2017.
The Aboriginal Best Start status report focuses on providing a better understanding of the specific health, education and wellbeing needs of Aboriginal young children and their families and communities.
This report provides:
- a summary of the outcomes of consultations with parents and communities
- a profile of the health and wellbeing status of Aboriginal children aged from birth to eight years in Victoria
- an overview of State, national and international research and models of practice relevant to the Aboriginal community
- an exploration of potential practice solutions to inform the recommendations for the core components of the Aboriginal Best Start demonstration projects and the mainstream demonstration projects.
For more information see:
Values and qualities held by all Best Start sites working with Aboriginal children
The Aboriginal cultural beliefs that have been identified in Best Start and reaffirmed as part of the new policy are:
- Our children are our present and our future
- Our children should have access to good health, wellbeing and education programs so that they will be empowered to achieve their full potential
- Our children have the right to an education that strengthens their culture and identity
- Our children have the right to live in communities that are safe and free from violence
- Our children have the right to identify as Aboriginal Australians, to be proud of our history, cultural beliefs and practices
- Our children have the right to maintain connection to their land and country
- Our children have the right to maintain strong kinship ties and social obligations
- Our children have a strong contribution to make to enrich the Aboriginal community and as members of the wider community
- Our children have a right to be taught our cultural heritage by our Elders
- Our children should be taught to respect their Elders