Aged and disability services

Why is this important?

Local government is one of the most important, and in some places the major, provider of aged and disability services in local communities.

Home and Community Care (HACC) services provide vital supports to Aboriginal people and their families. HACC activities include assessment and care management, home care, property maintenance, personal care, meals, planned activity groups and respite services.

The HACC guidelines requires that these services be delivered in ways that are culturally appropriate and responsive to the needs of Aboriginal people. (Read more – Strengthening diversity planning and practice – A guide for Victorian Home and Community Care services).


What can your council do?

Councils can:

  • develop strategies that ensure HACC services are delivered in a culturally appropriate and responsive way
  • engage with the local Aboriginal community organisations to build, plan, develop and implement aged and disability services
  • undertake cultural audits of their aged and disability services to identify whether there are barriers for Aboriginal people using these, and take appropriate steps to make services more inclusive.


The 2012 Victorian Local Government Aboriginal Engagement and Reconciliation Survey found that less than a third of councils deliver Aboriginal-specific services aged care or programs. 


Good Practice Examples 

  • The City of Ballarat Home and Community Care services staff work to deliver the Grampians Regional HACC Plan. Through this, the Council is involved in making assessments, referrals, education and cultural awareness training. Partners include the Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative, Western Regional Co-operative and the Department of Health and Human Services. The arrangement is supported by an Memorandum of Understanding signed in February 2012. The partnership works well, taking into consideration Aboriginal clients who prefer to access these services through the local cooperative, rather than Council directly.
  • Gannawarra Shire Council runs a Planned Activity Group to support Aboriginal Elders, with a program that includes cooking classes, shopping on a budget and trips to nearby towns.
  • Each Friday, the ‘Lifelong Movers’ group meets at the Dandenong Oasis for a fitness program that includes both land based and water activities. The program has been going for some years in partnership with the Aboriginal Cooperative in Dandenong. It also includes health information and assessments by a nurse from Southern Health. Wresacare (an organisation providing respite for people with a disability) has been a partner in providing the program and has assisted with the costs for the trainer, as has the City of Greater Dandenong in the past. This has been a solid partnership for assisting clients to achieve and maintain their fitness, while also providing the opportunity for socialisation.
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