The purpose of the WACCC, as outlined in its Terms of Reference, is to work in partnership with the Wyndham Aboriginal community and key stakeholders to work towards finding a location in which to establish a culturally safe Aboriginal Community Centre. The Committee consists of local Aboriginal community members and Aboriginal founding members.*
The committee was established from a recommendation that came from the Wyndham Aboriginal Forum that was held in November 2013. The Forum was a direct response to the Aboriginal community, Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCO’s) and government agencies meeting held at the Footscray Community Arts Centre in May 2013 where the community representatives all agreed that Aboriginal Community Hubs should be established in Footscray, Melton and Wyndham.
Members of the WACCC understand the need expressed by local Aboriginal community members for a space where they can gather, connect, share, create, grow, learn and be safe. A space that will not try to be all things for all people, but will endeavour to encourage all community members to have a voice what an Aboriginal Community Centre might be, can be, will become. We hope that you share our excitement in working towards building an Aboriginal Community Centre and then come and join us when the centre is ready for operation.
*Founding members are those Aboriginal people from the Western Suburbs Working Group.
The Wyndham Aboriginal Community Centre (the WACC)
The western region of Melbourne is one of the fastest growing regions in Australia. Wyndham is on the western edge of the region and has experienced the largest and fastest growth in all Victorian local government areas.
The local population is expected to nearly double between 2012 and 2031, growing at an average rate of 3.19% per annum. With this growth there has also been significant growth in Aboriginal population.
The Wyndham Aboriginal Forum that was held in November 2013 confirmed support from a broad range of stakeholders to establish a centre for the Aboriginal community in Wyndham.
Following the forum, the Wyndham Aboriginal Community Centre Committee (WACCC) was formed as the key platform for the local Aboriginal community. Since 2013, Wyndham City has been working in collaboration with the WACCC to implement the recommended actions from the Forum and to continue to take steps towards the vision of a community centre. A Feasibility Study for the potential Aboriginal Community Centre was prioritised as one of the first actions.
In 2014, Wyndham City successfully applied for a state government Community Infrastructure Planning Grant on behalf of the Wyndham Aboriginal Community Centre (WACC) to investigate options for establishing an Aboriginal Community Centre within the Wyndham municipality.
The WACCC has been working in partnership with Wyndham City since 2014 towards establishing an Aboriginal Community Centre and have achieved significant outcomes since the commencement of their journey.
Some of these things are:
- An Aboriginal Consultant was engaged to conduct a Feasibility Study.
- The WACCC are currently working through the recommendations from the Feasibility Study.
- The WACCC are considering current and future Governance models.
- Funding submission to build the Wyndham Aboriginal Community Centre for $1.5 million from the State Government was successful.
- Wyndham City Council then matched the State Government funding by contributing $1.5 million as well.
- A Project Control Group within Wyndham City Council with WACCC representation has been established and is currently overseeing the infrastructure and build of the Wyndham Aboriginal Community Centre.
- The WACCC are currently setting up an interim location to start operating from. The interim centre is currently open on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Vision for the Wyndham Aboriginal Community Centre
The Wyndham Aboriginal Community Centre will be a culturally safe place for strengthening community and cultural development, and facilitating improved co-ordination and connection of services and programs for Aboriginal people living in Wyndham City.