CEO message: December

At the start of the month, the re-elected Andrews Labor Government announced the new Victorian Cabinet who will deliver on the Government’s election promises. We congratulate Natalie Suleyman, Minister for Youth; Colin Brooks, Minister for Multicultural Affairs; Ben Carroll, Minister for Employment; Enver Erdogan, Minister for Youth Justice; Natalie Hutchins, Minister for Education; Harriet Shing, Minister for Regional Development and Minister for Commonwealth Games Legacy; and Gabrielle Williams, Minister for Mental Health.

We would like to thank Minister Ros Spence for her many years of support of CMY in her tenure as Minister for Youth and Minister for Multicultural Affairs, and will continue to work closely with her office in her capacity as Minister for Community Sport.

CMY looks forward to continued partnership work with the State Government to support multicultural communities and young people to fully participate in Victorian community life. As we enter difficult economic situations, cuts to social welfare programs are under consideration, however we urge the Government to continue investment in whole-of-community building and targeted initiatives as a way of ensuring multicultural communities and young people are not left behind. We need to look no further than the impact of COVID-19 to see how multicultural communities were affected.

With 2022 coming to a close, it has been warming to gather together to celebrate the successes of the year. This has included the graduation of the inaugural Seat at the Table program participants who have completed 10-month Board observerships – thanks to all of the businesses who have opened up these valuable learning opportunities for the young women involved. The program is now being expanded nationally into Western Australia, Tasmania and ACT, as a pilot through our MYAN partners. We are thrilled that Seat at the Table has received an additional $200K in funding from the Victorian Government to further its reach in 2023, which is a testament to the success of the program to date. If your business would like to support a young multicultural woman in their leadership aspirations, you can find out more about how to get involved here.

Last week we had the opportunity to acknowledge the many volunteers that make the work of CMY possible, with a celebration to mark International Volunteer Day. CMY has over 720 volunteers involved in a suite of programs and activities, and they are an integral part of how we support young people to build their lives in Australia.

I also attended the ABC Takeover Melbourne Gala Screening, a program in which CMY has partnered with ABC for the third year running. It is creating a powerful platform for diverse young Melburnians to be heard, and through CMY also offers a young multicultural person the opportunity of an internship with the ABC. Over the past three years, each of the CMY interns involved in Takeover Melbourne have been successful in gaining ongoing work in some capacity with the ABC. Read about Ikram’s experience on the program here. I encourage you to check out the winners stories from across Greater Melbourne here.

At the same time as all of these celebrations, recent news on violence involving multicultural young people is of deep concern. Violence between young people is not new and has been part of society, but it is time to focus our attention on finding out more about the why; and working in partnership with communities and young people, to develop new responses that will address the underlying cause of the violence. 2023 must be the year to progress our thinking on dealing with these issues.

Finally, I would like to thank all our partners and colleagues for your support of CMY and wish you a restful and peaceful festive season, but also acknowledge that for many people it can also be a time of distress and grief. I have found 2022 very challenging, if not more challenging than 2021, and personally, I am looking forward to a few weeks of rest and relaxation. Hoping 2023 goes somewhere to being more like the new normal and we look forward to working with you in continued partnership.

CMY offices will be closed from Friday 23rd December and reopening on Monday 9th January.

See you in 2023.

– Carmel Guerra CEO