Connection to Country helps Bubup Wilam grow strong leaders
The Sector > Provider > General News > Connection to Country program helps Bubup Wilam build future leaders

Connection to Country program helps Bubup Wilam build future leaders

by Freya Lucas

September 20, 2023

Bubup Wilam Aboriginal Child and Family Centre is an Aboriginal community-controlled education, health and well-being organisation in Naarm (Melbourne) which recently won the National NAIDOC Education Award Category. 


Bubup Wilam means ‘Children’s Place’ in Woi Wurrung.  Gunditjmara, Gunnai woman, Lisa Thorpe, has been the CEO of Bubup Wilam for almost 10 years.


The service’s recent award recognises the important work it does in supporting Aboriginal early childhood development. 


‘It was really good to be recognised and acknowledged on a national level by Aboriginal people,’ Ms Thorpe said. 


The centre is committed to working with families to raise strong, proud, and deadly kids in a culturally rich and supportive educational environment. 


“We look after the children and their families and support whatever is required for them,” she explained. 


The service works with the children’s families to help reinforce a child’s strong sense of Aboriginal identity and personal self-esteem to help lay the foundation of good health and well-being.


Through Bubup Wilam’s Connection to Country program, children learn about their community ties through ancestry maps and photographs.

“Children are learning who their mobs are from a very early age. When they leave by three years old, they’re saying who they are, they’ll tell you who their mob is,” Ms Thorpe explained.


Bubup Wilam also provides wrap-around services for families, like access to the GP, hearing tests, speech pathologists and other health care services.


“The families are totally in control of what happens with their children when we’re helping them access services. We advocate for our families. We support the families to do what they need to do for their children,” Ms Thorpe continued.


With the aim of raising kids to be confident, determined and strong, Bubup Wilam continues to encourage all kids at the centre to act like little leaders now and to become influential Elders in the future.


The Connection to Country program has been embraced by parents and students, with ongoing positive relationships built between the schools and Bubup Wilam.  

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