Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Inc

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Project Title: Chronic Disease Prevention through the Culture+Kinship Model: A strength-based prevention approach based on Aboriginal Culture, Kinship, Community, and Country

The Culture + Kinship Model of Care enhances the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria by creating, strengthening, or restoring connections to Culture, Kinship, Community and Country. The model incorporates Aboriginal ways of knowing, being and doing into health promotion and primary prevention approaches. Between 2021-22, VACCHO developed a Theory of Change and piloted the model with four regional ACCOs. An evaluation demonstrated its effectiveness and a significant Social Return on Investment.

‍VACCHO will implement the model with four new ACCOs serving primarily urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations in Victoria. An Aboriginal-led participatory evaluation study will examine the potential impact in an urban context. This study will make significant contributions to the literature on decolonising approaches to chronic disease prevention and health promotion through Aboriginal leadership and self-determination, and centring Aboriginal ways of knowing, being and doing. VACCHO will also develop knowledge translation resources and strategies to promote wider uptake of the model.

Sheree Lowe, Executive Director VACCHO’s Balit Durn Durn Centre:

This is a very exciting announcement – I sincerely thank the Commonwealth for empowering the Community and putting Aboriginal health in Aboriginal hands. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people know that strengthening connections to our culture has direct benefits for the health and wellbeing of the Community. For our young people, it provides a powerful sense of identity and belonging, which gives confidence, self-esteem and pride. These are the enablers of self-determination in our health and wellbeing journeys.

"If there is investment in restoring the often-broken connections between our people and their Country and Community, we will be able to create vibrant and self-determining Communities, and our Boorais (children) will grow up to shape the future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria.”

State:  Victoria

Project Partner:  KOWA Collaboration

Project Leads:

  • Sheree Lowe, Executive Director, VACCHO’s Balit Durn Durn Centre
  • Abe Ropitini, Executive Director, Population Health at VACCHO


  • TTRA: $994,790
  • Co-contribution: $638,905

Duration:  September 2023 – August 2025

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