purpose, vision & values

Our purpose

“As traditional owners and custodians of Wathaurong land we are committed to working together to provide a secure future for our community by upholding the dignity of our ancestors, respecting our Elders and others, and instilling a sense of cultural pride and belonging in our children and our children’s children.

The Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative welcomes all Aboriginal people and provides a place where community members experience social and cultural connectedness and unity, have a voice, celebrate culture and identity; promoting self determination, community healing, well-being and advancement.”

The primary purpose of the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative is to provide holistic and culturally secure service responses to meet the specific needs of the Aboriginal community.

Our overall objective is to provide our members and Aboriginal families living or in transit in the service delivery area of Wathaurong's traditional boundaries with assistance, an increased and improved access to a range of culturally appropriate health, housing, education, employment and cultural services, contribute to improvements in community well being and build the capacity of the community to control its own affairs and achieve self-determination.


We meet the needs of our community by providing culturally appropriate, quality services and programs which promote sustainable economic growth, political stability, health and well-being and environmental care that is respectful of Aboriginal culture.

The Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative acknowledges and accepts its responsibilities to the community in providing increased opportunities for social and economic advancement. We aim to have the Co-operative function in a way that will enable us to build and strengthen the social, cultural, economic, environmental and spiritual foundations of our community.

We advocate for our community on issues which affect their lives and operate in a way that ensures the rights of our people are upheld. We work toward broader collaboration and maintaining partnerships with external stakeholders to ensure informed policy, program directions and service access and responsiveness. We represent community needs and interests in all of our dealings; this is the pure essence of community control.


The Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative works to uphold the following values and principles.

  • Providing quality programs and services to our community which are culturally sensitive;
  • Promote a welcoming, friendly and comfortable environment;
    Respect for one another, the people we work with and the broader community;
  • Integrity: fair and ethical in all our dealings;
  • Professionalism: non-judgemental and systematic in the way we interact;
  • Accountability: open and transparent in our decision making and allocation of resources;
  • Freedom of speech: valuing everyone’s contribution and encouraging participation;
  • Working with pride and confidence: and encouraging this in our colleagues;
  • Upholding confidentiality and privacy: in regard to clients, community, the Board and co-workers;
  • Effectively communicating at all times: recognising that communication involves listening;
  • Acting in unity: promoting a team approach and team development;
  • Acknowledging cultural diversity and differences: both within the Aboriginal community and beyond;
  • Complying with our duties of care to clients, community, the Board, co-workers and the Co-operative as a business entity.


“We are here to support and politically advocate for the community: to provide culturally appropriate health, education, aged, disability, housing and cultural services, provide and advocate for sustainable employment for Aboriginal people in ways that are consistent with Aboriginal cultural practices.”

This is our 10 year vision.