The Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative is set to undergo a major overhaul after landing a $6 million investment from the state government last week.
BADAC was one of the recipients of first round funding from the $200 million Regional Health Infrastructure Fund, which will allow the Aboriginal health organisation to dramatically expand its operations.
As of 2015 the organisation employed more than 50 staff to perform 18 different services ranging across health, housing and community care, drug and alcohol support, justice support and social wellbeing.
BADAC chief executive Karen Heap said the funds would allow the organisation to deliver better tailored programs to more people in the one space.
“We're trying to close the gap on Aboriginal health and in other areas, we're trying to make sure we've got suitable housing for our people and suitable employment and all of those factors that are big for the Aboriginal community,” Ms Heap said.
“We’re looking to develop specialist services that we don't actually have and we're expanding all the time so we're running out of room.”
Among the results from the funding will be a new, modernised facility which will be located next to the existing facility on Market street, which will house four new general practice rooms, five specialist consulting rooms, two medical procedure rooms, four alcohol and other drug consulting rooms, four mental health consulting rooms and eight general purpose rooms.
The organisation is currently scattered across three buildings and the mental health team is forced to operate offsite due to the spacial constraints.
Ms Heap said being able to provide all services in one location would encourage more people to access BADAC’s services while also encouraging a more efficient use of the organisation’s resources.
“We like to develop our programs in a holistic way and provide a service in a holistic way and this will allow us to bring everyone back inside (the one building) which will be good,” Ms Heap said. “It makes a lot of difference because (patients) are not having to move to different buildings because it's all in one building and we find that's a really good service to provide to our community.”
Wendouree MP Sharon Knight said while the co-op was providing terrific services to people in the region, it’s current facility’s were limiting its growth.
“(The new buildings) will house new medical centres, more counselling spaces and to refit the entire co-op,” Ms Sharon Knight said. “It's such a great organisation that does amazing work.”