Bendigo & District Aboriginal Co-operative (BDAC) provides medical care for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on Dja Dja Wurrung lands and to the wider community. BDAC was awarded the RACGP Victoria General Practice of the 2019.
BDAC was recognised for its multiple wraparound services and multidisciplinary care model. This includes aged care, integrated team care, social and emotional wellbeing, culturally responsive drug and alcohol, family support services, a dual diagnosis clinician who manages patients with significant mental health and substance use disorder issues and financial counselling. The clinic provides medicine that may not be available elsewhere, such as access to hepatitis C medication and medical termination of pregnancy.
BDAC has also taken on an essential role in Aboriginal-led child protection, to ensure children in out-of-home care are placed with Aboriginal families and to support family reunifications. The clinic also supports this program – if a child needs to be seen urgently, the clinic has a commitment to see them on the same day.
Dr Naren recently departed BDAC after working there for four years. His experience in Bendigo has been memorable.