Nugel program from the VACCA a finalist in 2019 Victorian Protecting Children Awards
The Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) Nugel (Aboriginal Guardianship) program has been announced as a finalist in the 2019 Victorian Protecting Children Awards, alongside employee Sue-Anne Hunter.
Hosted by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, the awards recognise excellence, innovation and leadership at the highest standards, with VACCA CEO Muriel Bamblett AO saying ‘I am incredibly proud of the two finalists in the Victorian Protecting Children Awards, as this is recognition of the invaluable contributions of our staff both individually and collectively in their work with vulnerable and at-risk children.’
Ms Bamblett said the Nugel program “has been an historic achievement for Aboriginal people, and at the forefront of child welfare in Australia, because it establishes a benchmark around the application of the principle of the right of self-determination for Aboriginal people – which justifies its inclusion in this category and being a finalist.”
Nugel has been nominated for the Minister’s Awards for Innovation in Protecting Children. The program became the first of its kind in Australia in 2017, following a landmark transfer of guardianship of Aboriginal children on Children’s Court Orders to Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations.
VACCA noted that, since its inception “Nugel has led the way in developing a new model of child protection practice premised on Aboriginal organisations working in partnership with Aboriginal families.”
Nugel works to support children in out of home care to be safe, and to connect with, or remain connected to their culture.
Ms Hunter, a Wurundjeri woman, was lauded by Ms Bamblett for her “genuine passion, commitment and drive” to bring about better outcomes for her people throughout her working career at VACCA, as someone who has contributed so much to the sector.
Having worked for VACCA for 18 years, Ms Hunter was announced as a finalist for the Robin Clark Leadership Award, for her work in inspiring Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal practitioners across the sector,leading the development of the Cultural Therapeutic Ways program.
Cultural Therapeutic Ways, VACCA said, is an approach to practice which embeds connection and re connection to culture in all interventions for vulnerable children and families.
The winners of the 2019 Victorian Protecting Children Awards will be announced during National Child Protection Week on 3 September 2019.