Research & Policy

Policy and Advocacy advocates for policy, program and systems change to achieve health equity for all Aboriginal people in Victoria.


  • provide our Board, CEO and VACCHO members with research and policy advice to empower their leadership and advocacy roles
  • facilitate consensus around policy issues and support advocacy with the Aboriginal community, governments and other stakeholders
  • develop networks and partnerships for reform in policy, funding, programs, and systems
  • increase the community’s understanding and awareness of Aboriginal health issues, and the importance of the role of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations.

Alcohol and Other Drugs

The Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Project Team aims to increase awareness and capacity of harm reduction among VACCHO’s member services and the local community. VACCHO received funding from the Victorian Government Department of Health for this six month project ending September 2014. The AOD project has team is required to complete three main activities:

  • 1. Deliver 10 Aboriginal Mental Health First Aid training sessions to Aboriginal community members
    • 1a. Train eight new Aboriginal Mental Health First Aid instructors
  • 2. Deliver three pharmacotherapy training sessions to General Practitioners and Nurse Practitioners focusing on Aboriginal clients with opioid dependency
  • 3. Deliver eight harm reduction workshops with community members and local services to discuss and AOD-related priorities

Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) Program

This state-wide program works simultaneously to increase the uptake of GP Registrar training opportunities in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) across Victoria through promotion to prevocational doctors and GP Registrars; and also works closely with VACCHO's 27 member organisations, the four Victorian Registered Training Providers (RTP's listed below), and national GP stakeholders to build workforce capacity and GP Training Accreditation within the sector.

Specifically the VACCHO AGPT Officer works to support:

  • Our members to gain Aboriginal Health Training post Accreditation through the RACGP in conjunction with the RTPs
  • GP Registrars who are placed or keen to be placed in accredited ACCHS posts
  • Medical students, prevocational doctors and GP Registrars to take up the opportunity to train/work in VACCHO member services, with a GP CV bank repository to capture workforce interest.

Chronic Disease

Chronic disease significantly impacts on the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and is one of the main factors contributing to the life expectancy and health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The Chronic Disease Team aims to reduce chronic disease morbidity and mortality by supporting the capacity of the Aboriginal Community Controlled sector and key partner organisations to deliver effective services to manage chronic disease in Victorian Aboriginal Communities.

Aboriginal Health Promotion and Chronic Care (AHPACC) Program

The Aboriginal Health Promotion & Chronic Care (AHPACC) Program at the VACCHO supports eleven funded partnerships between Aboriginal community controlled health organisations and community health services across Victoria. The AHPACC program has successfully supported Integrated Chronic Disease Management, Service Co-ordination, General Practice in Community Health Services & Primary Care Partnerships.

Eye Health 

VACCHO has been engaged to continue the promotion of the importance of eye health within the Victorian Aboriginal communities, in collaboration with our Member organisations. In addition it is endeavoring to develop and strengthen existing and new partnership arrangements between Members, primary eye care providers and other stakeholders, in line with the objectives of the Koolin Balit Victorian Aboriginal Eye Health Workplan 2014 – 2015.

Nutrition and Physical Activity

The Nutrition and Physical Activity Team delivers a range of capacity development activities in order to support VACCHO members and partner organisations to promote healthy eating and physical activity for the Victorian Aboriginal Community. These include: workforce training, professional development and mentoring; partnerships with other peak Non-Government Organisations; evidence-based health information resources; health-promoting organisational policies; and nutrition and physical activity research and program evaluation.

Sexual Health

VACCHO’s Sexual Health Team has been funded through the Federal Government since 1996. The main aim is to support VACCHO member organisations to provide up-to-date Blood Bourne Virus, sexual and reproductive health care through the provision of advocacy, training, support and health promotion services.

The Sexual Health Team has been instrumental in maintaining a voice for Aboriginal sexual health in Victoria and our work is guided nationally by the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissible Infections Strategy 2014–2017.

Tobacco Cessation

The Tobacco Team supports VACCHO member services to develop and implement policies and programs to reduce the burden of smoking-related disease in the Victorian Aboriginal population. We do this by:

  • Supporting our members to develop and maintain a smoke-free workplace policy
  • Developing workforce skills in smoking cessation and brief intervention
  • Assisting with identifying and translating evidence-based smoking prevention and cessation models with VACCHO member organisations
  • Advocating for our sector on State and National Tobacco committees
  • Developing culturally appropriate smoking cessation information materials
  • Facilitating network meetings with the Victorian Aboriginal tobacco workforce and key partners in Government departments and other Tobacco Cessation organisations.
  • Hosting and support local tobacco and healthy lifestyle events and activities
  • Building community awareness of healthy, smoke-free homes, particularly for high risk groups such as pregnant women and children.
  • Utilising social marketing and social media to promote smoking cessation messages
  • Supporting monitoring and evaluation of Tobacco Cessation initiatives.