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Balit Durn Durn a historical report on the state of Victoria’s Aboriginal mental health system

A historic report was released November 11th 2020 which marks the first time in Victorian history that Aboriginal voices will be embedded into Victoria’s mental health system, a long overdue piece of work to support healing in our Communities. Balit Durn Durn is a report that has come from the learnings of our own peoples and explores the power of Aboriginal culture to provide five Aboriginal-led solutions that will dramatically transform Victoria’s mental health system. Balit Durn Durn also builds on years of advocacy from Aboriginal organisations, leaders and those delivering front-line services to Aboriginal people across Victoria.

Almost 100 people responded to an online survey and 20 others participated in a series of face-to-face interviews where they shared their personal and professional experiences. It took on board the hearings and submissions completed by Aboriginal leaders and experts in social and emotional wellbeing, conducted by the Commission in April and May 2019.

The report - and the five solutions proposed - builds on hard-fought advancements in several landmark reforms.

Balit Durn Durn aims to provide an overview of Aboriginal Communities’ experience with the current mental health system and offers innovative Aboriginal-led solutions that will see the Final Report deliver transformative outcomes. The proposed solutions are that by 2025: 1. Establish five on-country healing centres (or camps) to support resilience, healing, and trauma recovery through fostering connections to Country, kinship, and culture. 2. Ensure long-term, sustainable, and flexible investment in Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing to create generational change. 3. Invest in recurrent funding arrangements into multidisciplinary social and emotional wellbeing teams in ACCO’s to secure long-term statewide coverage. 4. Critically invest in Aboriginal-led solutions to prevent suicide and self-harm. 5. Appropriately invest in Aboriginal leadership and culturally safe service delivery across mainstream primary, secondary and tertiary health services.

VACCHO CEO Jill Gallagher AO said for the first time in history, Aboriginal leaders, organisations, people, families, carers, and communities were given the opportunity to have their voices and experiences included in a redesign of Victoria’s mental health system. Aunty Jill yarns with us on Standing Strong Together about the importance of this historical report and some of the important recommendations that have been put forward. She also yarns about her own personal experience through COVID 19 pandemic restrictions and the importance of taking care of your mental health.

For more information on the report please visit


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