Aboriginal MCH services

Aboriginal-led MCH services:

  • Embed self-determination as a core principle of MCH service delivery, recognising the importance of Aboriginal organisations in providing services to meet the health, wellbeing and safety aspirations of their local Aboriginal community
  • Offer families choice and flexibility in how they access MCH services, including place-based support tailored to their needs
  • Supports relationships between mainstream MCH and other providers and Aboriginal organisations, working together to provide integrated, coordinated support and referral pathways for Aboriginal families and children.

Aboriginal MCH services in Aboriginal community controlled organisations

The Aboriginal MCH program helps provide better health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families by offering them the choice of accessing MCH services at their local Aboriginal community controlled organisation. This supports the delivery of services that are welcoming, respectful and safe, and strengthens self-determination in Aboriginal organisations.

Current providers of Aboriginal MCH services are:

  • Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service
  • Bendigo and District Aboriginal Cooperative
  • Bubup Wilam Aboriginal Child and Family Centre
  • Gunditjmara Aboriginal Cooperative
  • Mallee District Aboriginal Service Mildura
  • Mallee District Aboriginal Service Swan Hill
  • Murray Valley Aboriginal Cooperative
  • Njernda Aboriginal Corporation
  • Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation
  • Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative Ltd

About Aboriginal MCH services

The Aboriginal MCH Initiative (AMCHI) was trialled in 9 services in local government and Aboriginal organisations from 2017 until mid-2020 through a 2016 State Budget investment of $1.6 million.

In 2018, the government made a further investment of $4 million over 4 years to support the continuation of the Aboriginal MCH service in 4 Aboriginal organisations that were part of the AMCHI trial, and its expansion into a further 6 Aboriginal organisations from late 2020. The department’s Korin Korin Balit Djak: Aboriginal health, wellbeing and safety strategic plan 2017-2027 (Korin Korin Balit Djak) informed the Aboriginal MCH program’s continuation and expansion.

Cultural safety training for MCH providers

Korin Korin Balit Djak also guided the development of a cultural safety training and resource package designed to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural safety across the MCH sector. The online course, developed and delivered by the department in partnership with the Centre for Cultural Competence Australia, is delivered to MCH service providers from late 2020.

MCH leaders will also have the opportunity to nominate up to 3 cultural safety champions, including at least 1 MCH leader, to participate in sessions and to develop an MCH customised action plan for their service. These action plans will identify opportunities and strategies to embed culturally safe practice at the service level.

Contacts

Aboriginal Maternal and Child Health at mch@dhhs.vic.gov.au.