Health and Wellbeing

About the Program

Bubup Wilam Aboriginal Child and Family Centre is committed to building a strong sense of identity and self-determination for the Aboriginal children, families and staff who are involved in the centre.  We provide wrap-around services for those families and children requiring additional services because of the impact of trauma, social challenges and developmental delay.   We work holistically to support children and their families: the Early Years Education Program, the Transition Program, the Health and Wellbeing Program, the Board and Management work collaboratively to wrap around children and families to build strong families and communities who can advocate for themselves and their children.  We focus on the strengths of your child and your family.

The BWEL  Health and Wellbeing Program recognises that a child’s Health and Wellbeing is central to future life outcomes and positive experiences in education. At Bubup Wilam we see education an integral part of a person’s Health and Wellbeing and unless Health and Wellbeing needs are addressed , positive participation and outcomes in education are less likely to be realised.   

Bubup Wilam recognises the strength and potential of families and provides a culturally safe response to vulnerabilities they are facing.  The role of Bubup Wilam is to walk with these children and their families in supporting them to realise this potential.   Bubup Wilam Aboriginal Child and Family Centre recognises the strengths of the children who attend the centre and their families.  We work closely and collaboratively with children and families to build their resilience and their capacity to move through trauma and challenges they face.   Bubup Wilam encourages families and children to remain strong and see the possibilities despite the vulnerabilities that may exist in their life and to learn and know that these vulnerabilities do not define them.   Children and their families are empowered to make the changes they need in life and to celebrate their strengths.

Our Services

Wrap Around Services

Bubup Wilam provides support to families in a variety of areas including family violence assistance and prevention, mental health support, child protection, advocacy and support.  We work to ensure the safety of children and families by facilitating removal from the cause where necessary, but we also support to rebuild and address the underlying problems that continually flare up in times of crisis and distress. Bubup Wilam focuses on prevention and early intervention and advocates strongly for children and their families.

Health Checks

Bubup Wilam’s Health and Wellbeing Program ensures that families with children who have complex health & developmental needs can access support for health and wellbeing services in a safe and caring environment.

Specialist Therapies and Interventions for Aboriginal Children with Developmental Delays or Disability

Bubup Wilam is an NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) provider of Early Childhood Intervention which provides specialist support and services for young children aged birth to 7 years who have a disability and/or developmental delay.  The aim of Early Childhood Intervention is to support your child’s development wellbeing and participation in family and community life.

Bubup Wilam is also an NDIS provider of Therapeutic Supports (Speech Pathology and Occupational Therapy).  

Children who are not eligible for a plan through NDIS can access Speech Pathology and Occupational Therapy services through Medicare.

Child Health Checks

The Bubup Wilam Child Health Checks are offered to children twice a year.  These health checks are supported by the educators who work alongside Aboriginal GP, Dr Umber Rind (Yamatji Badimaya) GP who is employed by Bubup Wilam.     The checks involve screening of health, hearing, vision, development, oral health, nutrition, growth and general wellbeing, as well as speech and language. The team is supported by the Speech Pathologist, Occupational Therapist and Maternal and Child Health Nurse.  The outcomes of the health check are owned by the families, to be used where needed at Bubup to support your child’s educational outcomes.  By offering these checks to children, Bubup Wilam are able to streamline the child and families access to referrals and services, where needed. 

Allied Health Services

Speech Pathology

At Bubup Wilam, the important link between effective communication, meaningful participation and social and emotional well-being is understood.  Language skills encompass the ability to understand what others are saying and to express emotions and ideas.  Speech skills are integral to ensuring that what we are saying is being understood.  Communication plays an integral role in the formation and maintenance of meaningful interactions and friendships with others.  Our connection with others has links to the development of self-esteem.  Language plays an important role in self-determination providing an avenue for children and their families to exert greater autonomy and control over their own lives.  

Underpinning Bubup Wilam Aboriginal Child and Family Centre’s early learning programme is a commitment to the Ethics of Communication and the Ethics of Participation. 

Ethics of communication: all children have a right to be heard, a right to be understood and a right to understand.  For Aboriginal children, having a voice and being able to articulate that voice to others is vital for them to be heard. Aboriginal people have been oppressed and silenced and have not been heard and for our children to continue the fight for equity their voice and their confidence to use it is very important.

Speech Pathologists can provide assistance in the following areas:

  • Articulation/phonology; producing speech-sounds correctly
  • Receptive language; understanding what others say
  • Expressive language; using words to form sentences and express ideas
  • Fluency; producing a smooth flow of speech
  • Voice; using an appropriate voice quality
  • Pragmatics; understanding and using appropriate social communication skills
  • Eating and Drinking:  learning to chew foods and swallow foods and liquids safely

Occupational Therapy

Ethics of participation: includes a right to participate, a right to be included and a right to be inclusive.  Integral to this is a focus on the child and families’ strength and a commitment to helping children achieve their potential. 

At its heart, the ethics of participation places deep value in the individual: who they are, what they can offer, their strengths and unique contributions and a belief in their potential.  It also encourages the development of self-esteem, independence, interdependence and self-determination.

Occupational Therapist support children’s participation in a variety of ways including:

  • Fine motor and hand skills: dexterity, grasping, holding a pencil
  • Visual-motor skills and handwriting: copying shapes and letters
  • Self-care skills: getting dressed, using cutlery, toileting, fasteners
  • Sensory/motor integration skills: sensitivities to textures, poor balance, clumsy, fearful of, or seeking movement e.g. swings
  • Visual-perceptual skills: discriminating shapes, letters, numbers, matching skills
  • Coordination and gross motor skills: hopping, skipping, catching a ball, posture

Child and Infant Social and Emotional Wellbeing Consultant

Bubup Wilam has a long standing relationship with a Child and Infant Social and Emotional Wellbeing Consultant who visits Bubup Wilam 1 morning a week.   This consultant works closely with educators and families to support the health and well-being of the children attending Bubup Wilam.  This trauma-informed practice, which builds resilience, trust and supports effective brain development.  Educators and families are supported in providing a safe place for children and the routine and calmness that can promote a sense of security and predictability for the child.  

Child Maternal Health Nurse

A maternal and child health nurse visits Bubup Wilam on a weekly basis and is available to provide consults related to the key ages and stages of their child’s development.


To use the services of Bubup you need to be associated through Bubup. Children who attend Bubup Wilam and their families can access the BWEL Health and Wellbeing Program. 

Eligibility for the allied Health Services (Speech Pathology and Occupational Therapy)

  • Aboriginal children with a developmental delay or diagnosed disability who attend the long day-care/kindergarten at Bubup Wilam Aboriginal Child and Family Centre 
  • Aboriginal children with a developmental delay or diagnosed disability who have attended the long day-care/kindergarten at Bubup Wilam Aboriginal Child and Family Centre in the past
  • Siblings of children who currently attend or have attended  Bubup Wilam Aboriginal Child and Family Centre who present with developmental delay or disability

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76 Main St, Thomastown VIC 3074

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