27 October 2022
CEO message: State Election Platform and Federal Budget
Happy Diwali to those of you in our community who have been celebrating the festival of lights this week. I hope it has been a prosperous and hope-filled time for you and your family and friends.
With the Victorian Election fast approaching, earlier this month we released CMY’s Election Policy Platform. Our platform calls on all parties to commit to strong policies to ensure multicultural young people and their families can strengthen their sense of belonging and proudly contribute to Victoria’s multicultural community.
CMY is calling for targeted new investments in a range of priority areas which are critical for the prosperity of our young people, including:
- Multicultural youth workers
- Addressing adolescent family violence
- Multicultural youth mental health
- Tackling racism in local communities
- Multicultural youth justice
- Strengthening diversity through sports initiatives
- Addressing Covid-19 and disrupted education
- A multicultural youth employment initiative.
Against a backdrop of unprecedented social and economic upheaval over the past few years of the pandemic, this is a crucial time to support young people.
We are also calling for a number of CMY programs to be sustained and/or expanded upon, including the Le Mana Pasifika Project, the South Sudanese Community Support Group, the Regional Presence Project, the Centre for Multicultural Sport (CMSport), Refugee Education Support Initiatives, Youth Referral and Independent Person Program (YRIPP), and Seat at the Table (SAT) program.
To find out more, check out our full 2022 Victorian Election Policy Platform at: https://www.cmy.net.au/victorian-election
My colleagues and I have been busy reaching out to Members of Parliament over recent weeks to share our insights on key challenges faced by communities, and how the government can invest in the future of a young and multicultural Victoria. We are grateful to those who have extended an invitation and shown a willingness to listen to the concerns, opinions and ideas of young people this election.
Like many Australians, at this time of economic uncertainty and more widespread disruption, we were keen to see the detail in the new Labor Government’s Federal Budget this week. We were pleased to see a positive investment in Australia’s young and multicultural future.
In particular, the establishment of an Office for Youth, adoption of a new youth engagement model and strategy, and funding for the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC) – these are all critical investments in young people that will pay off for us all well into the future.
Targeted investments in multiculturalism are also a sound investment in our future. Particularly welcome is the funding for a National Anti-Racism Strategy, improvements to the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP), and a review of Australia’s multicultural policy settings to support efforts to further strengthen social cohesion, as well as for the new Local Multicultural Projects initiative. We look forward to seeing how young multicultural Australians are engaged in the implementation of these measures.
The targeted inclusion of CALD and migrant communities within a number of the budget measures is also positive – for example, targeted funding in suicide prevention and access to support for victims of violence and the inclusion of targeted research and data collection.
An increase to the Permanent Migration Program, increased visa processing capacity, a commitment to developing a Migration Strategy and support for migrants from the Pacific region is welcomed and well overdue.
While there were many welcome measures, it was disappointing to see the Government’s lack of commitment to increasing intake for Australia’s Refugee and Humanitarian Program.
We also share concerns regarding the lack of measures to directly address increases in the cost of living within this budget. CMY are particularly concerned for young people and families already under strain, especially those experiencing multiple levels of disadvantage and those living on Youth Allowance and Jobseeker.
We are encouraged, but will continue to work hard alongside others in the community to raise the concerns and needs of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds and their families.