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Aboriginal health

The Department of Health aims to make a significant and measurable impact on improving the length and quality of the lives of Aboriginal Victorians in this decade, in partnership with the Aboriginal community and our stakeholders.

The government's objectives are to:

Key priorities

The six key priorities of Koolin Balit: Strategic Directions for Aboriginal Health 2012-2022 are:

  1. a healthy start to life
  2. a healthy childhood
  3. a healthy transition to adulthood
  4. caring for older people
  5. addressing risk factors
  6. managing illness better with effective health services.

Koolin Balit builds on the Victorian Health Priorities Framework 2012-2022. Broader, whole-of-government strategies are outlined in the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2013-2018.

Read more about Koolin Balit: Victorian Government strategic directions for Aboriginal health 2012-2022

What's New

Dhumba-nganjin: Sharing stories to promote reconciliation

In 2012, the Wirrigirri (Messenger) program was established to promote reconciliation and build improved understanding of Aboriginal history and culture throughout the department.

The Sharing Stories Wirrigirri activity was undertaken in 2014.  The aim of the activity was to give staff a way to share a personal view or reflection of what reconciliation means to them.  And in doing so, learn from each other and continue the dialogue on reconciliation within their own work areas and the department.

Written stories contributed by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal staff were published in Dhumba-nganjin: Sharing stories to promote reconciliation.

Permission was kindly given by the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation of Languages to use the translation of ‘sharing stories’ - Dhumba-nganjin for the book’s title.  Dhumba means ‘talk’ and nganjin means ‘all of us including you’ in the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung languages.

Dhumba-nganjin Sharing stories to promote reconciliation.  Note that images and stories cannot be extracted for separate publication without the permission of the Department.

Koori Health Counts! 2012-13

Koori Health Counts: Victorian Aboriginal Hospital data report provides an overview of Aboriginal health in Victoria, as measured by hosptial admissions.

The information is used to monitor changes in the health of the Aboriginal community, and to inform policy and the planning and development of service delivery models and health promotion programs.

  • The 2012-13 hospital admissions data shows a number of important trends including:An increase in Aboriginal hospital admissions over several years.
  • An increase in the percentage of dialysis admissions.
  • The other major causes of hospital admissions are pregnancy and childbirth, digestive disorders, and injury and poisoning.
  • A greater increase in male admissions than female admissions since 2007/08.
  • The age groups from 60 to 75+ years had the highest rates of admission.
  • A steady increase in the number of births of Aboriginal babies.
  • The total rates of admission do not reflect the earlier age of onset of chronic diseases for Aboriginal people.

 Koori Health Counts! 2012-13

Koolin Balit State-wide Action Plan 2013-2015

The state-wide action plan covers the period from 2013 to 2015, outlining the detail of what the Victorian Department of Health and other relevant departments and partners will do to achieve the aims of theKoolin Balit: Victorian Government Strategic Directions for Aboriginal Health 2012-2022.

The action plan includes clear measures and milestones to implement and achieve each of the aims set out in the Koolin Balit 10 year strategy.

The key actions for the next three years are:

  • Reducing the rate of Aboriginal perinatal mortality;
  • Increasing the proportion of Aboriginal children participating in maternal and child health visits;
  • Reducing smoking take-up among Aboriginal teenagers;
  • Reducing the number of Aboriginal adults who are current smokers;
  • Helping older Aboriginal people access information, support and services to maximise their health and wellbeing; and
  • Improving access to primary, acute and mental health services.

 Koolin Balit State-wide Action Plan 2013-2015


Victorian Aboriginal population a snapshot

Photo gallery

Safety protective screens are erected along Arnold Street