Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal Co-operative Limited is a community controlled not-for-profit organisation with proud history that is dated back to 1972. At this time the East Gippsland Aboriginal Women’s Group was formed, consisting of approximately 67 proud, strong and resilient women and men in response to the poor health and housing outcomes experienced by Aboriginal families across the region.
In 1975 the Women’s Group became incorporated as East Gippsland Aboriginal Medical Services Co-operative Limited (a Community Advancement Society). Significantly in 1978, the Co-operative registered a name change to Gippsland & East Gippsland Aboriginal Co-operative Limited (GEGAC) as it is known today.
Today, GEGAC is located across a number of sites in Bairnsdale, with the main office at 37-53 Dalmahoy Street, Bairnsdale.
In response to Community need GEGAC offers a full range of holistic services for Aboriginal people that includes but is not limited to medical, housing, community wellbeing, family support, education, employment and most importantly a place of cultural connection and representation for all Aboriginal people.
GEGAC would like to acknowledge that we would not exist if not for the founding members who showed courage and leadership to stand up and act for all Aboriginal people in Gippsland and East Gippsland. Fighting for equality, recognition and respect to improve the quality of life for all Aboriginal people.
Read and download GEGAC’s Annual Reports, and formal planning documents like our Strategic Plan.
Rights and Responsibilities
All clients and patients of GEGAC have certain rights and responsibilities.
- Trust: Our legacy and reputation come from a strong community voice and forward-thinking, reliable, and determined leadership that builds trust and loyalty
- Respect: We show commitment to each other and our shared history through kindness, compassion and respect to all people, no matter who they are or where they have come from
- Integrity: We act with integrity and without judgement in all our dealings by being honest, transparent and accountable
- Connection: Our services are delivered by and for community, so our mob is strong, resilient, and stays connected to each other, family, culture and country
- Cultural Safety: Culture sites at the heart of what we do so our mob always feel safe, welcome, and empowered to celebrate our spiritual and cultural identity
Diversity and Inclusion Statement
Aboriginal culture is core to GEGAC’s values, and we will always be a culturally safe environment for Aboriginal peoples and our LGBTQIA+ Mob, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, non-binary, sistergirls, brotherboys, and intersex.
For GEGAC, this means we embrace the diversity of our Aboriginal community and any non-Aboriginal family members of community.
As cultural integrity is the cornerstone of our services, we will make all our community feel welcome in our services and embrace their needs and identities as individuals.
We understand that not everybody will require the same approach, instead we consider their needs as an individual, as a family, as a community.
Statement of Commitment to Child Safety
GEGAC is committed to providing a safe and friendly environment for children and young people, and GEGAC has zero tolerance for any form of abuse of children and young people: including sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, cultural abuse, and neglect.
GEGAC is committed to ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, and all other children (including those from a culturally and linguistically diverse background, children with a disability, and children identifying as LGBTQI+) are safe and culturally safe.
GEGAC believes in the right of a child to safety in their physical and online environments.
GEGAC understands its obligations under the Commission for Children and Young People’s Child Safe and Reportable Conduct schemes, as well as Victorian laws such as the Failure to Disclose offence and mandatory reporting obligations under the Children Youth and Families Act. GEGAC will uphold these obligations in the best interest of Aboriginal children, and all children.
GEGAC will make sure we include children and families in the decisions that affect them, and we understand how children’s active participation in their care arrangements helps to prevent abuse – we will listen to children and young people and take their concerns seriously.
For more information about GEGAC’s obligations to keep children safe:
- Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (legislation.vic.gov.au)
All GEGAC staff, office holders, contractors and volunteers are required to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with a Child Safe organisation, and failure to uphold these obligations may result in disciplinary action.
To make a confidential complaint, please contact GEGAC’s Complaints Officer via our website, by phone or by post.
GEGAC is fully accredited against QIC Health and Community Services Standards 7th Ed, and Human Services Standards (DFFH).