Balit Durn Durn Report

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Balit Durn Durn comes from the Wurundjeri / Woiwurrung language and means Strong Brain, Mind, Intellect and Sense of Self. Permission to use Balit Durn Durn was provided by Wurunjderi Traditional Owners.

The Mental Health Royal Commission (the Commission) was a ground-breaking opportunity for people with lived mental health experience, carers, families and the mental health workforce to contribute to improving the current mental health system and creating a system that appropriately supports all people.

The Commission received both written and oral feedback from individuals and organisations that informed the Mental Health Royal Commission Final Report. At the centre of the work undertaken by the Commission was a desire to challenge the stigma and discrimination that often exists in the mental health system, and to outline and understand gaps in the service system that can be addressed and improved.

Balit Durn Durn was developed by VACCHO to support the Commission’s Final Report, which was tabled in the Victorian Parliament in 2021.

Balit Durn Durn builds on years of advocacy from Aboriginal organisations, leaders and those delivering front line services to Aboriginal people across Victoria. It relies on hearings and submissions completed by Aboriginal leaders and experts in social and emotional wellbeing, conducted by the Commission in April and May 2019. This includes the culmination of the voices of Aboriginal people, Aboriginal Community Control Organisations and other peak bodies who made submissions, and the advice provided by Aboriginal experts during the Commission’s public hearing on 16 July 2019 at the Aboriginal Advancement League in Thornbury, Victoria.

This Report also builds on the Commission’s Interim Report which contains several priority recommendations that address immediate needs and lay the foundations for a new approach to mental health following changes to the current mental health system.

Following the publication of the Interim Report, VACCHO engaged in Community consultations to further understand the impact of the mental health system on Aboriginal Communities, workers, carers, families, and services. Almost 100 people responded to an online survey and 20 others participated in a series of face-to-face interviews where they shared their personal and professional experiences.

Balit Durn Durn aims to provide an overview of Aboriginal Communities’ experience with the current mental health system and offers innovative Aboriginal-led solutions that will see the Final Report deliver transformative outcomes.