news / 07/06/2023


It is with great excitement that we launch Western District ACCO Collective (WDAC). WDAC formalises the long-standing solidarity and partnership of our Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs), coming together to advocate for the self-determination of our rural and regional western Victoria Communities.

Our membership includes Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative, Budja Budja Aboriginal Co-operative, Dhauwurd Wurrung Elderly & Community Health Service, Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Co-operative, Gunditjmara Aboriginal Co-operative, Kirrae Health Service, Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative, and Winda-Mara Aboriginal Co-operative. WDAC represents the largest regional Victorian Aboriginal population of 28% of Victoria’s Aboriginal people, who live on 38% of Victoria’s beautiful Country.

ACCOs are critical for Community and cultural strengthening. Our ACCOs all run specialist wraparound health and wellbeing support services for our families and Communities from pregnancy through to the Dreaming. Our services are run by Community, for Community. Our services include cultural and Community engagement, primary and allied health, social and emotional wellbeing and recovery, maternity services, early childhood, youth programs, family services, homelessness and housing, NDIS, and aged care services.

WDAC will be accountable to the self-determined needs and aspirations of our Western Districts’ families, Communities and ACCOs, with the backing of and funding from our government and regional partners. WDAC will:

  • Be a powerful voice advocating at regional, state and national forums for our families, Communities and ACCOs.
  • Use Aboriginal ways of knowing, being and doing to lead, design and facilitate the solutions to achieve equity and beyond for our Communities.
  • Hold government and partners to account at local and regional levels, to ensure that all Aboriginal funding is self determined and led by Aboriginal families, Communities and ACCOs.
  • Support whole of Community approaches to address the ongoing harm of systemic racism that disproportionately impacts Aboriginal Communities.
  • Achieve ongoing, equitable and significant funding for our ACCO’s infrastructure, workforce, Community strengthening, and services that we deliver ‘our way’.

To contact the WDAC, please reach out to our current WDAC Chair, Simon Flagg, CEO Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative CEO (

Quotes from the CEO’s of WDAC’s ACCO Member Organisations

WDAC is our western division’s self-determination in action, changing the way we do business. We will call others to us and work on our own terms.

WDAC is a united group of Aboriginal Community-Controlled Organisations from across Victoria’s Western District that advocate as a strong voice at the highest levels for our Communities’ needs and aspirations.

WDAC will be a strong voice, advocating together for every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person in our region. We will test and push the government’s obligation and agenda of self-determination.

We are an ACCO collective working together to give Community a voice to all levels of government and to support each other with one goal – to better serve Community by addressing, advocating and reforming current systems.

We want to lead the systems changes so that we can again be places of cultural and Community connection, with solutions that are led by us, for us.


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