Innovation in Aboriginal child and family services

Innovation in Aboriginal child and family services

Muriel Bamblett, Connie Salamone and Megan van den Berg

This webinar highlighted why and how Aboriginal services differ to mainstream services, and the importance of culture in delivering these services.

This webinar was held on 25 June 2014.

This webinar was presented in collaboration with Knowledge Circle.

The Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) offers a wide range of innovative and culturally relevant services that are responsive to the diverse needs of Aboriginal communities.

Enacting the principle of the right of Aboriginal people to self-determination, VACCA's services promote safety, health and wellbeing - including cultural connection for Aboriginal children and families.

In this webinar, Muriel Bamblett, Connie Salamone and Megan van den Berg highlighted why and how Aboriginal services differ to mainstream services, as well as the critical importance of culture and safety in delivering these services. Learnings from VACCA's Kinship Care program and successful cultural and community projects were presented.

About the presenters

Muriel Bamblett

Adjunct Professor Muriel Bamblett AM is a Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung woman who has been employed as the CEO of the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency since 1999.  Muriel is active on many boards and committees concerning children, families and the Indigenous community, including the Victorian Children’s Council, Aboriginal Treaty Working Group and the Indigenous Family Violence Partnership Forum.

Muriel’s contribution to her community and to Victoria has been recognised in a number of awards including a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2004 Australia Day Honours for her services to the community. In 2011, Muriel was inducted into the 2011 Victorian Honour Roll of Women and was a finalist for a Human Rights Medal with the Australian Human Rights Commission.

In 2017, Muriel was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters in Social Work by the University of Sydney in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Aboriginal child and family welfare.

Connie Salamone

Connie Salamone has worked in the human services field for over thirty years, mostly in child and family services. Connie has served on the Board of North Careforce and was the Principal Child Protection Advisor to Protecting Children in the Pacific Project. Connie has held a range of senior positions within the Department of Human Services, and is currently Executive Director of Strategy and Services at VACCA. Connie has represensented VACCA on many statewide committees and governance structures and has contributed to a range of publications. In 2012 Connie was awarded the Robin Clark Memorial Award for Inspirational Leadership in the field of Child and Family Welfare.

Megan van den Berg

Megan van den Berg is a Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung woman who has an extensive background in training and community development within the Aboriginal community. Megan played a key role in the development of the Koorie FACES family strengthening program; Linking in - a program for members of the Stolen Generation; and Strong Women Yarning Up - a program for Aboriginal women experiencing family violence. Megan is VACCA's Executive Manager of Community Development, and leads a team of community development workers who deliver emergency relief, referrals, cultural programs and community education programs including financial literacy, parenting and energy efficiency.

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