The Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) proudly announces that our Nugel (Aboriginal Guardianship) program and much respected employee, Sue-Anne Hunter, have been announced as finalists in the 2019 Victorian Protecting Children Awards.
Hosted by the Department of Health and Human Services, these awards recognise excellence, innovation and leadership at the highest standard, and VACCA is honoured to have the work of Nugel and leadership of Sue-Anne Hunter recognised.
VACCA CEO Muriel Bamblett AO said ‘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.’
‘Our 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 was nominated for the Minister’s Awards for Innovation in Protecting Children.
In 2017, Nugel became the first of its kind in Australia, following a landmark transfer of guardianship of Aboriginal children on Children’s Court Orders to Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations.
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 – or stay connected – to their culture.
Muriel adds ‘Sue-Anne Hunter, a Wurundjeri woman, has always displayed a genuine passion, commitment and drive to bring about better outcomes for her people throughout her working career at VACCA, and is someone who has contributed so much to the sector – I have no doubt she will continue to make important contributions in the future.’
Sue-Anne Hunter, who worked with VACCA for 18 years, was announced as a finalist for the Robin Clark Leadership Award.
Inspiring Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal practitioners across the sector, Sue-Anne led the development of the Cultural Therapeutic Ways program.
Cultural Therapeutic Ways is an approach to practice which embeds connection and reconnection to culture in all interventions for vulnerable children and families.
Winners of the 2019 Victorian Protecting Children Awards will be announced during National Child Protection Week on 3 September 2019.