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Abe Ropitini from VACCHO talks about the Victorian Aboriginal Elders Summit 2023.



Abe Ropitini is a Māori man of Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Maniapoto iwi, with ancestral links to Palawa Mob from Northeastern Tasmania.


He has a background in medical anthropology and international development, and has led projects across health, aged care, disability, and Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing.


A passionate and vocal advocate for reimagining and decolonising the health and wellbeing of indigenous people, Abe takes a storytelling approach to centering the legitimacy and importance of culture, kinship, and country in narratives of health and wellbeing.


Abe is the Executive Director of Population Health at the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO).

Abe joins Lorena on the Big Brekky to talk about VACCHO Victorian Aboriginal Elders Summit 2023.


This year VACCHO is paying tribute to our Elders by hosting a not-to-be-missed Victorian Aboriginal Elders Summit 2023.

To commemorate and celebrate the vital role that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders play as the heart and soul of our Communities, VACCHO and the Victorian Committee Aboriginal for Aged Care & Disability (VCAACD) are holding a 2-day Summit in Naarm / Melbourne on 3 – 4 October.


2023 is a special year given the powerful NAIDOC theme ‘For Our Elders’ which celebrated the vital contribution Elders make to Community. VACCHO invites people from all walks of life to hear directly from Aboriginal Elders about their lives, experiences and aspirations in health, wellbeing, and quality of life.


Proud Muthi Muthi woman and VACCHO’s VCAACD Training and Support Officer, Aunty Margaret Clarke, urge workers from the fields of Aged Care, health, policy and research to come along.


“Our Elders have done such incredible work and have spent their lives fighting for our rights. We owe everything to them,” she said. “This special summit provides all of us with a special opportunity to say thank you to our Elders for their many sacrifices – to celebrate their many achievements – and to give back.”


The two-day summit will explore the themes of Listening to our Elders, with speeches and discussions exclusively from respected Aboriginal Elders, and then Respecting our Elders, featuring in-depth discussions with leaders from ACCOs and Aged Care advocacy organisations.


VACCHO CEO Jill Gallagher AO is looking forward to the event and paying tribute to the Elders.


“Elders have been my main source of inspiration throughout my life. Their generosity, courage, wisdom – and the knowledge they pass on to Communities is vital,” she said. “I can’t wait for this summit and am really looking forward to a special two days of yarning, laughs, and connecting.”


Tickets are limited so click here to secure your place at the 2023 Victorian Aboriginal Elders Summit.



For further media enquiries please email communications@vaccho.org.au or contact our media unit on (03) 9411 9411


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