State Government budget recognises potential of multicultural young people in Vic

May 2, 2017

Regional and multicultural Victorians winners in 2017 State Budget

The State Government’s 2017/18 budget supports and recognises the potential of multicultural young people in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. 


CMY is pleased to note that funding for our Regional Rural Presence Project (RPP) in Ballarat and Gippsland has been continued for the next two years. This funding will help to strengthen the participation of multicultural young people in work, school, family and community life in their local areas. 


Feeling connected and having a sense of belonging are key components of successful multiculturalism.  This Budget’s commitment to new and ongoing multicultural initiatives will help to foster a sense of belonging for multicultural young people throughout Victoria via:

  • $21.8 million over 4 years for language services for people in need of essential interpreting and translating services assisting more Victorians to get to the help that they need, regardless of language barriers.
  • $2 million over two years for a LGBTI inclusive Victoria in multicultural communities helping to open up the discussion around gender identity and sexual health within ethnic communities.
  • $2 million over two years for a Migrant Workers’ Centre to ensure people from migrant and refugee backgrounds (including international students) are less vulnerable to exploitation in the workplace. The Centre will educate workers about their rights, wages and conditions, and tackle disadvantage in the workplace.
  • $19 million over three years for implementation of the Government’s Multicultural Policy Statement: Victorian. And Proud of it  targeting training and engagement programs to support a cohesive community and enabling activities that support front-line workers, families and friends of those at risk of all forms of extremism; as well as targeted online messaging to build social cohesion.

The Government’s support of multiculturalism also extends to investments in education for students whose first language is not English:

  • $19.5 million over two years for the English as an Additional Language Program in line with growth in enrolments, to develop students’ English proficiency and improve their participation in social, economic and cultural life in Victoria.
  • $7.9 million over two years for the Navigator program (delivered in its existing eight locations until the end of 2018).  This program provides intensive outreach supports to young people who are at risk of disengaging or already disengaged from their education. 
  • $1.6 million over two years for Student Mentoring to keep young people engaged in school and learning. 


CMY is also pleased about the continuation of the public transport discount scheme for international students ($3.7 million over two years); supporting individual students, as well as, Victoria’s strong international education sector.


The Budget investment in the area of youth justice unveils a response that spans from early intervention to the crisis end. Promised initiatives include 2,729 new police officers, with 42 new youth specialist officers; $85 million to help identify clients who are at risk of entering the criminal justice system; expanding the capacity of Thomas Embling Hospital; and providing specialist forensic mental health support for young people.


In the area of jobs and training for young people, the Government has invested $8.2 million for Apprentice Support Officers to ensure apprentices under the age of 25 get the support they need to finish their training.  With youth unemployment at 13%, CMY welcomes this move to help young people find meaningful employment and other supports to stay connected to their training pathway.