Nga Keenatt – Welcome from the Djab Wurrung Community
Background to Budja Budja (Halls Gap) Aboriginal Cooperative
Budja Budja is the Traditional Aboriginal name for Halls Gap. The Clinic is located in the heart of the Gariwerd/Grampians National Park, in Country shared by Djab Wurrung and Jardwadjali Traditional Owner Groups.
The Budja Budja Aboriginal Co-operative Ltd., located at Halls Gap, was established by the current CEO, Tim Chatfield, in 1999 with the aim of delivering a range of cultural, medical, health and wellbeing services to both the local Indigenous and non-Indigenous community.
Australian Bureau of Statistics Census information shows that in 2011 there were 146 Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders living in Northern Grampians Shire and a further 109 in Ararat Rural City; a total of 255. Since 2006, our Community population has increased from 166 members, or by 53.6% – about 9% annually. Our current estimates of the size of our Community for 2013 is 303. Budja in its forward community planning activities is actively working on serving the future needs of our projected Community population of up to 500 over the next few years. Apart from our permanent Community residents, Gariwerd also has a significant number of temporary and passing-through members who have full access to all services provided by Budja.
The Co-operative is an initiative of the local Koori Community and services the region encompassing Ararat, Stawell, Halls Gap and Gariwerd and, St Arnaud towns and all areas in-between. The Co-operative is governed by an experienced and qualified Board of Directors. The Co-operative operates from a modern, purpose-built facility in Halls Gap and ensures the delivery of culturally appropriate services in a welcoming environment, with professional, friendly and helpful staff. Our staff operates in a team environment, and are dedicated to providing patient focussed services which is specifically tailored to meet the needs of each individual. To this end, the Co-operative has developed relationships with local primary healthcare partners to deliver Allied Health and Child and Maternal health services.
Doctor services are currently provided twice a week, every Tuesday and Thursday, and supported by Outreach Services from our valued partners. This includes: physiotherapy, podiatry, dietetics, maternal and child health, family counselling and occupational therapy. Referral to our mainstream partners’ facilities in Stawell and Ararat is available at other times when these services are not provided at Halls Gap. New services recently introduced include dental referrals to East Grampians Health Service, Ararat, and optometry services at Halls Gap three times a year through the Australian College of Optometry. See the Calendar of Services page of this website for a comprehensive outline of services and dates.