An important step towards independence for KYC

Aboriginal self-determination has always and will always be at the heart of our work at the Koorie Youth Council (KYC). Over many years of work, KYC have backed Aboriginal young people as decision-makers. We know that Aboriginal young people know what is best for themselves, their families and their communities.


KYC are proud to announce the transfer of our current auspice arrangement from Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic) to the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS) as of the 1 April 2023. As an organisation, this is a natural step towards becoming fully independent by late-2024.


KYC has been a proud partner and friend of Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic). Since 2004, KYC has been auspiced by YACVic. Throughout this arrangement, YACVic’s ongoing support and guidance has been instrumental in supporting KYC transition towards independence.


This year, KYC will celebrate its 20 year Anniversary working with and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in Victoria. Similarly, VALS will celebrate their 50 year anniversary. An exciting time these two organisations to strengthen their connection. KYC and VALS have a close working relationship. This relationship is strengthened by our shared commitment to deliver better outcomes for the Community now and into the future. This partnership is a strong example of prioritising Aboriginal ways of being, doing and becoming. We are excited to strengthen our relationship with Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and broader Aboriginal Community Controlled sector.


Under this arrangement, VALS will provide overarching governance and corporate services support whilst KYC build internal capacity towards becoming fully independent.


In addition to the auspice transfer, KYC are pleased to announce its office relocation to the iconic MAYSAR building on Gertrude Street in Fitzroy. Melbourne Aboriginal Youth Sport and Recreation (MAYSAR) is a place of truth-telling and history for all Australians. MAYSAR’s Gertrude Street building has always served as a space to connect, inspire and foster the dreams and aspirations of Aboriginal young people for generations. Our aim is to continue to support Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations working directly with Aboriginal young people in Victoria. Over the coming weeks, KYC will provide further updates around its official relocation into the MAYSAR building.


For 20 years, KYC have worked toward independence from its initial establishment as Victorian Indigenous Youth Advisory Council (VIYAC). We are excited to continue our journey towards independence and thank all those who have contributed to our journey so far.


Quotes Attributable to Bonnie Dukakis, Executive Officer of KYC

“I am really excited that VALS is supporting us on our journey towards independence. Becoming an independent organisation is part of the Koorie Youth Council’s commitment to Aboriginal self-determination and enabling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people collectively create our future. KYC will benefit greatly from VALS’ experience in the sector and boost our capabilities as we seek to be incorporated in 2024.”

Quotes Attributable to Nerita Waight, CEO of VALS

“It’s a privilege to support the Koorie Youth Council on their journey to independence. KYC do amazing work. They’ve amplified the voices of young Aboriginal people through work like the Ngaga-dji report and they were great advocates for Balit Ngulu, VALS’ dedicated legal service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people.”

Quotes Attributable to Katherine Ellis, CEO of YACVic

“It has been an honour and a privilege to support KYC through their years of growth and development, and we are appreciative of the huge value that KYC has brought to YACVic as well. YACVic is proud to have walked alongside the amazing KYC team as they have highlighted the unique needs and talents of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, and created important pieces of work like the Ngaga-dji report. We wish KYC all the best on their path to independence and self-determination, and look forward to continued collaboration.”

For media enquiries contact Bonnie Dukakis, Executive Officer, Koorie Youth Council via email at


Koorie Youth Council (KYC) has a rich history as one of the only organisations of its kind in the country. KYC is a dedicated representative organisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in policy and advocacy in Victoria.

KYC was once known as the Victorian Indigenous Youth Advisory Council (VIYAC). VIYAC was established in 2003 by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), a nationally appointed body which operated from 1990-2004. VIYAC was created with the support of the Victorian Aboriginal community and Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic). In 2012, VIYAC became known as Koorie Youth Council.

Our vision is ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people collectively creating our future’.

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