Key messages

  • Koolin Balit means healthy people in Boonwurrung language. It is a Victorian Government strategy, which commits the health system to improve the length and quality of life of Aboriginal people in Victoria by 2022.
  • Koolin Balit provides a clear path forward to achieving significant and measurable outcomes in Aboriginal health.

Victorian Government strategic directions for Aboriginal health 2012-2022

Koolin Balit is the Victorian Government's strategic directions for Aboriginal health over the next 10 years.

It was launched by the Minister for Health at the Aboriginal health conference in May 2012.

Koolin Balit sets out what the Department of Health & Human Services, together with Aboriginal communities, other parts of government and service providers, will do to achieve the government's commitment to improve Aboriginal health.

It brings together Victoria's total effort in Aboriginal health in an integrated, whole of life framework based around a set of key priorities and enablers.

We aim to make a significant and measurable impact on improving the length and quality of the lives of Aboriginal Victorians in this decade.

The government's objectives are to:

  • close the gap in life expectancy for Aboriginal people living in Victoria
  • reduce the differences in infant mortality rates, morbidity and low birthweights between the general population and Aboriginal people
  • improve access to services and outcomes for Aboriginal people.

We will focus our efforts on six key priorities:

  1. a healthy start to life
  2. a healthy childhood
  3. a healthy transition to adulthood
  4. caring for older people
  5. addressing risk factors
  6. managing illness better with effective health services.
Three enablers provide a foundation for the key priorities, and support their achievement:
  1. improving data and evidence
  2. strong Aboriginal organisations
  3. cultural responsiveness.

Koolin Balit builds on the Victorian Health Priorities Framework 2012-2022. Broader, whole-of-government strategies are outlined in the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2013-2018.

Digital Stories

A series of inspiring digital stories have been developed to support the sharing of learnings from local level evaluations, reflective practices and continuous quality improvement processes employed in Aboriginal health and Koolin Balit initiatives across Victoria.

South West Close the Gap project
This video highlights the South West Close the Gap project in the Barwon South Western region of Victoria. The project is lead by Gunditjmara Aboriginal Co-operative and is delivered in partnership with Kirrae Health Service and South West Healthcare. The project works with community members experiencing social and emotional wellbeing, family violence and/or drug and alcohol issues, using a case management and care coordination model. The project has included a strong focus on evaluations since its inception and has actively incorporated learnings from these activities.

Aboriginal mental health at the Northern Area Mental Health Service, Melbourne Health
This video features the Aboriginal mental health program at the Northern Area Mental Health Service. The program has actively engaged with the Aboriginal community and developed strong partnerships with Aboriginal organisations in the design of the project as well as continually reflecting on its practices.

Client journey in Hume: Albury Wodonga
This video focuses on the Aboriginal Client Journey in the Hume region. Four Aboriginal Health Transition Officers are employed in hospital emergency departments to engage with Aboriginal clients and provide follow-up support with referrals or access to other services. This initiative raises health literacy in the community and promotes Aboriginal identification within hospital and mainstream health care settings.

Why Evaluate Aboriginal health Initiatives
This video features Professor Kerry Arabena from the University of Melbourne and Claire Grearly from Urbis. The video focuses on the importance of evaluating or engaging in reflective and continuous quality improvement processes specific to Aboriginal health, looking at the benefits for government, organisations and the Aboriginal community of evaluative practices.

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