This history may contain culturally sensitive material, including names and images of people who have passed away.
Bendigo and District Aboriginal Cooperative was established on January 21, 2001.
Founded by Joanne Badke and Raylene Harradine, BDAC was created after the loss of Bendigo’s Aboriginal primary health service. When Dja Dja Wurrung lost its health funding, more than 20 Aboriginal staff members were left without jobs and the community experienced significant health issues. Although funding was diverted to mainstream services, the community did not feel culturally safe accessing them and stopped receiving healthcare.
BDAC started with just one funded position and one program. But driven by a need to support and enhance the community, it grew significantly over the next decade.
Its priority from the beginning was providing employment, education and training opportunities for the local community.
The organisation also began developing its own workforce, and set a target for at least 75 per cent of its staff to be of Aboriginal background. BDAC now employs more than 50 people, and about 80 per cent of its staff identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
BDAC delivers a range of health and social services to thousands of people across Dja Dja Wurrung country.
The organisation was originally housed at an office in Hope Street, from there it moved to Breen Street, then Will Street, and until recently BDAC were operating from Forest Street.
After receiving Federal funding which took 5 years to secure, BDAC purchased the Prouses Road site. As of March 2017, BDAC opened Stage One of their development to community.
Prouses Road site houses, the medical clinic, family and community services and administration buildings, and is the central meeting place for the local community
Dja Dja Wurrung
Dja Dja Wurrung country includes the regional city of Bendigo, where 1,793 Aboriginal people live, and the surrounding districts of Boort, Redesdale and Creswick. More than half of the Aboriginal people living in Bendigo are under the age of 24.