Best Start sites and guidelines

Guidelines and templates for early childhood professionals. Includes Aboriginal Best Start resources.

Project sites

There are a total of 30 Best Start project sites across Victoria. Six of these project sites work specifically with local Aboriginal communities.

See all Best Start sites

​Ballarat

More information can be obtained by contacting the City of Ballarat Best Start facilitators, Nikki Foy and Jane Braszell, on the details below:

Family and Children's Services
City of Ballarat
Parent Place
39 Sturt Street, Ballarat
PO Box 655, Ballarat 3353
Tel: (03) 5320 5773

Email: nikkifoy@ballarat.vic.gov.au
janebraszell@ballarat.vic.gov.au
Web:  Ballarat Best Start

Brimbank

More information can be obtained by contacting the Brimbank City Council Best Start facilitator, Nina Photakis, on the details below:

Community Care
Brimbank City Council
Alexandra Avenue, Sunshine
PO Box 70, Sunshine 3020
Tel: (03) 9249 4038

Email: ninap@brimbank.vic.gov.au 

Cardinia

More information can be obtained by contacting the Cardinia Shire Council on the details below:

Community Services
Cardinia Shire Council
20 Siding Avenue, Officer
PO Box 7, Pakenham 3810
Tel:  (03) 5945 4434

Email: c.casey@cardinia.vic.gov.au
Web:  Cardinia Best Start

Casey

More information can be obtained by contacting the City of Casey Best Start facilitator, Leah Taylor, on the details below:

Family and Community Services
City of Casey
30-32 Verdun Drive, Narre Warren
PO Box 1000, Narre Warren 3805
Tel: (03) 9705 5299

Email: ltaylor@casey.vic.gov.au

Central Goldfields

More information can be obtained by contacting the Central Goldfields Best Start facilitator, Sue Bray, on the details below:

Maryborough District Health Service
57-87 Clarendon Street, Maryborough
PO Box 155, Maryborough 3465
Tel: (03) 5461 0443

Email: sbray@mdhs.vic.gov.au

Darebin

More information can be obtained by contacting the City of Darebin Best Start facilitator, Yvette Higgins, on the details below:

Community, Families & Children's Services
Darebin City Council
35 Copernicus Crescent, Bundoora 3083
PO Box 91, Preston 3072
Tel: (03) 8470 8120

Email: yvette.higgins@darebin.vic.gov.au
Web:  Darebin Best Start

Delkaia

More information can be obtained by contacting the Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Cooperative Best Start facilitator, Michelle Cameron, on the details below:

Goolum Goolum Services
Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Cooperative
43 Hamilton Street, Horsham 3400

Tel: (03) 5381 6304

Email: michelle.cameron@goolumgoolum.org.au
Web:  Delkaia Best Start

Djillay Lidj

More information can be obtained by contacting the Ramahyuck Best Start facilitator, Sascha Johnston, on the details below:

Ramahyuck
25 Young Street, Drouin 3818
PO Box 664, Drouin 3818
Tel: (03) 5625 6500

Email: beststart@nindedana.net

East Gippsland

More information can be obtained by contacting the East Gippsland Best Start facilitator, Brittney Kenny and Georgia Zerbe, on the details below:

East Gippsland Shire Council
273 Main Street, Bairnsdale
PO Box 1618, Bairnsdale 3818
Tel: (03) 5153 9500

Email: brittneyk@egipps.vic.gov.au
georgiaz@egipps.vic.gov.au

​Frankston

More information can be obtained by contacting the Frankston City Council Best Start facilitator, Georgina Devereaux, on the details below:

Family and Youth Services
Frankston City Council
43 Davey Street, Frankston
PO Box 490, Frankston 3199
Tel:  (03) 9768 1653

Email: georgina.devereaux@frankston.vic.gov.au
Web:  Frankston Best Start

​Geelong (Corio-Norlane)

More information can be obtained by contacting the City of Greater Geelong Best Start facilitator, Seona Murphy, on the details below:

Family Services
City of Greater Geelong
Ariston House
245-249 Pakington Street, Newtown 3220
PO Box 104, Geelong 3120
Tel:  (03) 5272 4270

Email: smurphy@geelongcity.vic.gov.au
Web:  Geelong Best Start (Corio-Norlane)

​Greater Dandenong

More information can be obtained by contacting the City of Greater Dandenong Best Start facilitator, Callie Miratana, on the details below:

Child and Family Partnership
City of Greater Dandenong
33 Joffre Street, Noble Park 3174
PO Box 200, Dandenong 3175
Tel:  (03) 8571 1839

Email: callie.miratana@cgd.vic.gov.au
Web:  Dandenong Best Start

Hume

More information can be obtained by contacting the Hume City Council Best Start facilitator, Kelly Brand, on the details below:

Children's Services
Hume City Council
1079 Pascoe Vale Road, Broadmeadows 3047
PO Box 119, Dallas 3049
Tel:  (03) 9205 2545

Email: kellybr@hume.vic.gov.au

Latrobe

More information can be obtained by contacting the Latrobe City Council Best Start facilitator, Sara McAlister, on the details below:

Children and Family Services
Latrobe City Council
141 Commercial Road, Morwell
PO Box 264, Morwell 3840
Tel:  (03) 5128 5651

Email: sara.mcalister@latrobe.vic.gov.au
Web:  Latrobe Best Start

Maribyrnong

More information can be obtained by contacting the Maribyrnong City Council Best Start facilitator, Georgia Jacobs, on the details below:

Children and Families
Maribyrnong City Council
Cnr Hyde and Napier Street, Footscray
PO Box 58, Footscray 3011
Tel:  (03) 9688 0242

Email: georgia.jacobs@maribyrnong.vic.gov.au

Melton

More information can be obtained by contacting the City of Melton Best Start facilitator, Karen Curson, on the details below:

Children's Services
City of Melton
232 High Street, Melton
PO Box 21, Melton 3337
Tel:  (03) 9747 7334

Email: karenc@melton.vic.gov.au
Web:  Melton Best Start

Mildura

More information can be obtained by contacting the Mildura Rural City Council Best Start facilitator, Sam Dodds, on the details below:

Children and Youth Services
Mildura Rural City Council
76-84 Deakin Avenue, Mildura
PO Box 105, Mildura 3502
Tel:  (03) 5018 8276

Email: sam.dodds@mildura.vic.gov.au
Web:  Mildura Best Start

Mingo Waloom

More information can be obtained by contacting the Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative Best Start facilitator, Shantelle Baillie, on the details below:

Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative
62 Morgan Street, North Geelong
PO Box 402, North Geelong 3215
Tel:  0448 495 941

Email: shantelle.baillie@wathaurong.org.au
Web:  Mingo Waloom Best Start

​Moorabool

More information can be obtained by contacting the Moorabool Shire Council Best Start facilitator, Jane Gardner, on the details below:

Family & Children's Services
Moorabool Shire Council
182 Hallets Way, Darley 3340
PO Box 18, Ballan 3342
Tel:  (03) 5366 7100

Email: jgardner@moorabool.vic.gov.au
Web:  Moorabool Best Start

Mornington Peninsula

More information can be obtained by contacting the Mornington Peninsula Shire Best Start facilitator, Suzanne Quinn, on the details below:

Children, Youth and Family Services
Mornington Peninsula Shire
21 Marine Parade, Hastings 3915
Private Bag 1000, Rosebud 3939
Tel:  (03) 5950 1684

Email: suzanne.quinn@mornpen.vic.gov.au

​Nillumbik

More information can be obtained by contacting the Nillumbik Best Start facilitator, Sue Malone, on the details below:

Community Services
Nillumbik Shire Council
Civic Drive, Greensborough
PO Box 476, Greensborough 3088
Tel:  (03) 9433 3190

Email: sue.malone@nillumbik.vic.gov.au

Njernda

More information can be obtained by contacting the Njernda Best Start facilitator, Mariah Johnson, on the details below:

Community Services
Njernda Aboriginal Corporation
86 Hare Street, Echuca 3564
Tel:  (03) 5481 1900

Email: mariahj@njernda.com

​Robinvale

More information can be obtained by contacting the Robinvale Best Start facilitator, Anna Kilpatrick, on the details below:

Robinvale Community Health Services
Robinvale District Health Service
128 Latje Road, Robinvale
PO Box 376, Robinvale 3549
Tel:  (03) 5051 8165

Email: akilpatrick@rdhs.com.au
Web:  Robinvale Early Years Network

Shepparton

More information can be obtained by contacting the City of Greater Shepparton Best Start facilitator, Belinda Whitelaw, on the details below:

Children's Services
City of Greater Shepparton
90 Welsford Street, Shepparton
Locked Bag 1000, Shepparton 3632
Tel:  (03) 5832 9790

Email: belinda.whitelaw@shepparton.vic.gov.au
Web:  Shepparton Best Start

South Coast

More information can be obtained by contacting the South Coast Best Start facilitator, Kylie Pollard, on the details below:

Bass Coast Health Service
235 Graham Street, Wonthaggi
PO Box 120, Wonthaggi 3995
Tel:  (03) 5671 3512

Email: kylie.pollard@basscoasthealth.org.au

Tartu-nganyin Bopop

More information can be obtained by contacting the Tartu-nganyin Bopop Best Start facilitator, Kylie Bell, on the details below:

Dandenong and District Aborigines Cooperative Ltd
62 Stud Road, Dandenong
PO Box 683, Dandenong 3175
Tel:  (03) 9794 5933

Email: kylie.bell@ddacl.com.au
Web:  Aboriginal Best Start Project

Wellington

More information can be obtained by contacting the Wellington Best Start facilitator, Raquel Mayman, on the details below:

Uniting Care Gippsland
126 Raymond Street, Sale 3850
Tel:  (03) 5144 7777

Email: raquel.mayman@vt.uniting.org


Whittlesea

More information can be obtained by contacting the City of Whittlesea Best Start facilitators, Michelle Rilen, on the details below:

Family Services
City of Whittlesea
Shop MM9, 1st Floor
Westfield Plenty Valley
415 McDonalds Road, Mill Park 3082
Locked Bag 1, Bundoora MDC 3083
Tel:  (03) 9404 8875

Email: michelle.rilen@whittlesea.vic.gov.au

​Wyndham

More information can be obtained by contacting the Wyndham City Best Start facilitator, Karen Thomson or Lyndall Mione, on the details below:

Early Years & Youth
Wyndham City
45 Princes Highway, Werribee
PO Box 197, Werribee 3030
Tel:  (03) 9742 0762

Email: karen.thomson@wyndham.vic.gov.au or
lyndall.mione@wyndham.vic.gov.au
Web:  Wyndham Best Start

​Yarra Ranges

More information can be obtained by contacting the Yarra Ranges Best Start facilitator, Carly Mawson, on the details below:

Family and Children's Services
Yarra Ranges Council
61-65 Anderson Street, Lilydale
PO Box 105, Lilydale 3140
Tel:  (03) 9294 6405

Email: c.mawson@yarraranges.vic.gov.au

Policy and guidelines

For more information on the updates to the Best Start program, see:

Best Start Aboriginal values

The Aboriginal cultural beliefs that have been identified in Best Start and reaffirmed as part of the new policy are that our children:

  • are our present and our future
  • should have access to good health, wellbeing and education programs so that they will be empowered to achieve their full potential
  • have the right to an education that strengthens their culture and identity
  • have the right to live in communities that are safe and free from violence
  • have the right to identify as Aboriginal Australians, to be proud of our history, cultural beliefs and practices
  • have the right to maintain connection to their land and country
  • have the right to maintain strong kinship ties and social obligations
  • have a strong contribution to make to enrich the Aboriginal community and as members of the wider community
  • have a right to be taught our cultural heritage by our Elders
  • should be taught to respect their Elders.

Partnership agreement template

Best Start Partnership Agreement Sample (docx - 64.9kb)

Partnerships are able to modify the agreement to meet their local requirements with approval from their regional office.

Position desciption template

Best Start Facilitator Position Description (docx - 36.7kb)

Reporting Templates

All reporting templates are now located on the Best Start Collaboration Site.

Best Start Aboriginal resources

Case study - a digital story

SNAICC developed a digital story in their plight to raise awareness about the work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander integrated early years services, with a focus on the Berrimba Child Care Centre in Echuca.

Featured report

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.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) commissioned report was created through a partnership between:

  • Victorian Aboriginal Community Services Association Limited (VACSAL)
  • Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated (VAEAI)
  • Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO)

More information