Victorian State Budget 2023-24: Vulnerable and disadvantaged multicultural young people supported to thrive 

In anticipating a Budget that would cut deeply, we are pleased that the Labor Government has remained true to its values and despite a tight fiscal environment, continues to invest in essential and targeted support for multicultural young people and their families.  

CMY is delighted that communities’ voices have been heard, with the welcome continuation of the following critical programs:

  • South Sudanese Community Support Groups
  • Le Mana Pasifika Youth Project
  • Regional Presence Project
  • MY Education programs Learning Beyond the Bell and Refugee Education Support
    Program; and
  • CMSport (the Centre for Multicultural Sport).

Ms Carmel Guerra, CMY CEO, said:

“We are pleased that essential community embedded-programs such as the South Sudanese Community Support Groups and Le Mana Pasifika Project, which support communities to step out of poverty and disadvantage, received a further two years of funding.

These communities were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and now that we are in a rebuilding phase, the continuation of these programs is absolutely crucial.”

Carmel Guerra, CMY CEO

The continued funding of CMY’s Regional Presence Project will also play an important role in regional communities, where multicultural young people often struggle to access opportunities to shape their own future.

The renewed funding for programs offering refugee education support is vital as the humanitarian intake recommences and we prepare schools to review and plan for inclusive curriculum and environments.

We also welcome the $3 million in Youth Justice and $5 million in Department of Families, Fairness and Housing funding that will focus on early intervention, over-representation and reducing recidivism. CMY has long called for a review and increased investment in community-led programs to tackle the over-representation of multicultural young people in the youth justice system.

The Budget has also continued investment in a range of other targeted multicultural communities and/or youth programs:

  • Engaging at-risk youth: targeted support for at-risk African and Pasifika young people to promote school engagement or re-engagement, helping to prevent youth offending and reducing anti-social behaviour
  • Supporting progressive reform in Youth Justice
  • Multicultural Community Infrastructure Fund
  • Multicultural and Multifaith festivals and events
  • Multicultural media grants programs
  • Delivery of anti-vilification campaigns
  • Grants to multicultural and multifaith organisations
  • Multicultural support programs including support for Victoria’s peak body, the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria; and
  • State events to celebrate key cultural observances.

CMY looks forward to continuing to work in partnership with the Victorian Government. We will work hard to draw on multicultural young people’s lived experiences, ideas and passion, to design new ways of working and to prevent communities from falling further into disadvantage – helping to build a fairer, more inclusive state for all.

To learn more about the Victorian State Budget 2023-24 released today, visit

Media Enquiries: Hannah Ford, Communications & Marketing Manager, CMY
M | 0429 592 860 E |