Organisational History

The story of Mallee District Aboriginal Services

The Mallee District Aboriginal Services began in the early 1980s as the Sunraysia District Aboriginal Corporation (later Mildura Aboriginal Corporation) and is recognised for its innovative work in Koori services.

Now with 150 staff across three locations, Mallee District Aboriginal Services grew from a project that started with two workers in a single room.  They provided health services, including drug and alcohol counselling.  A Koori playgroup next door offered respite and social connection for parents of small children.

The organisation was pioneering community-controlled Indigenous community service made possible because communities were, for the first time, being granted Government money to address their own welfare needs. 

The service grew rapidly in its first decade. Fuelled by a desire to see change, the organisation identified community issues, designed solutions and applied for funding, working in partnership with other welfare providers and Government agencies.

An expanding suite of programs included a family group home, a safe place for kids to escape trouble, and a comprehensive and expanding health service. New premises were sought, bought and even built. The organisation made an early foray into social enterprise with a building company that provided training and employment.

It was a problem-solving organisation and the community and the Government liked what it saw: its successful programs were soon modelled across the State.

In 2013 the organisation changed its name to the Mallee District Aboriginal Services to reflect the broad geographical region now under its banner.

Mallee District Aboriginal Services staff in Mildura, Swan Hill and Kerang now provide services for a potential client population of nearly 5000 people in NSW and Victoria.

The organisation's logo is symbolic of the communities along the Murray River the organisation now delivers services to.