MDAS releases new four-year blueprint

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 06:17:00 +0000

A new four-year strategic plan has identified family, community and culture as the key elements to continue the strengthening of the Mallee Koori community.

The new blueprint comes from a comprehensive review of the first four years of Mallee District Aboriginal Services and consultations around the organisation’s future strategic direction.

The review found MDAS client numbers had grown by 33 percent over the four years since MDAS was established. There are 4000 individual clients now registered at MDAS Mildura, Swan Hill and Kerang and the organisation has recorded a 200 percent increase in the number of health checks between 2013 and 2017.

“We’ve built a solid foundation and need to consolidate on what programs and services we deliver to the mob across our sites now and into the future,” said MDAS Chairman Keith Hampton.

“The growth within our program areas over the next four years will challenge us to build on our Aboriginal employment strategy so we can deliver programs professionally, as we grow,” he said.

“We’ve already increased Aboriginal employment at MDAS by 45 percent over the past four years, but we need to become even more active in building Aboriginal employment across all our sites.

“That includes through traineeships, but more importantly, in supporting our mob to obtain qualifications in specialist areas like nursing, medicine and management, while at the same time recruiting professional people into the organisation to ensure we continue to deliver quality services to our mob into the future.”

MDAS chief executive officer Rudolph Kirby said the new Strategic Plan placed family, culture and community at the centre of MDAS operations.

“Until now, a lot of our effort has gone into getting our structures and systems right to ensure we are an organisation with strong governance and accountability processes,” Mr Kirby said.

“Our work in that area has been recognised in terms of the Government and community partnerships we’ve been able to build, and the confidence the community has in our operations,” he said.

“But our focus is now very much on our people and the strategic plan is built around the principle of supporting our community from conception to Dreamtime.”

Mr Kirby said the new Strategic Plan included key tangible goals including:

  • Lifting the number of MDAS clients having an annual health check from 35 percent to 60 percent

  • Increasing the number of Aboriginal children in out of home care case-contracted with MDAS from 30 percent to 100 percent

  • Ensuring 80 percent of MDAS Community Housing applicants are accommodated (up from 30 percent)


“Our future is in our hands and our people are feeling they have real choices about their future,” Mr Kirby said.

“We’re moving towards more economic independence and growing the capacity of our workforce and they’re good things for long-term sustainability of our community,” he said.

“But at a community level we’re also getting better at developing strong role models and recognising our mob’s achievements, so people do feel there are more pathways to achieving their own goals, which is a great thing.”

The new four-year Strategic Plan is available here.