The History of BADAC Comes Alive Through Community Grant

The Victorian Government is supporting community history projects across the state, making the Ballarat region’s rich history more accessible for all Victorians.

Local History Grant applications can receive up to $15,000 per project, with the program focusing on acknowledging community organisations telling stories about the past and shining a light on the future.

Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-op (BADAC) were the recipients of a $15,000 grant in 2019 to capture on film and share the stories of local Elders in conjunction with BADAC’s 40th anniversary. BADAC’s history is one of triumph against the odds, a story of Aboriginal self-determination, and the transformative power of community.

Ballarat was a key location during the Stolen Generations, with children from all over Victoria and interstate placed in Ballarat’s orphanages. Many people stayed, and transgenerational trauma still affects the community today.

This $15,000 grant has enabled BADAC to collect the stories and images of founding Elders and the subsequent waves of Aboriginal activists who built both the community and the organisation. This project has meant that these important stories are now available to both adults and children in an accessible format as a free download on BADAC’s website.

The latest round of the Local History Grants saw 52 projects share $350,000 in funding under the program run by Public Record Office Victoria to support community and history organisations to preserve, record and share Victoria’s local history.

A full list of previous recipients of the Local History Grant program is available at

Round 2021-2022 will be open for applicants later this year and an online Grants Information Session will be held on Thursday 9 December at 6pm.

Quotes attributable to Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison

“The story of BADAC and the stories of the Aboriginal community and Elders are an important part of the history of Ballarat and district. These stories will inspire our community and promote a better understanding of Aboriginal culture and history.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle

“BADAC has supported and celebrated our Indigenous community since 1979. This grant will mean that all of us can share the stories and journey of BADAC and our first people.” 

Quotes attributable to Ballarat And District Aboriginal Co-op CEO Karen Heap

“This fantastic local history grant has enabled us to digitise fascinating archival material collected over the years by our community. Many stories of BADAC’s history are held only in people’s memories—and we have been able to record these remarkable stories of tragedy, triumph, resilience and hope before they are lost forever.

BADAC’s history is a story of strong, capable and visionary Aboriginal women and men driving change for their community. It is also a story of Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Victorians working together. This is now celebrated, recorded and shared with the Ballarat Aboriginal community and with all Victorians.”

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