CMY commends Victorian Government on support package for multicultural communities through COVID-19

CMY welcomes the Victorian Government’s announcement of targeted support for multicultural communities through the COVID-19 Response Package for Multicultural Communities.

Minister for Multicultural Affairs Ros Spence last night announced $11.3 million in funding over two years to help these communities respond to some of the complex challenges they face, which have been exacerbated during the coronavirus pandemic.  

“We know that multicultural communities face unique challenges throughout the pandemic – that’s why this package of support is so important,” the Minister said.

CMY CEO, Carmel Guerra, said:

“This funding will go a long way to ensuring the most vulnerable families and young people in our community gain access to the information, support and connections they need – at the time they need it most – and that they are empowered to be part of Victoria’s response and recovery.”

The package aims to strengthen and equip community organisations to be able to provide targeted support during the crisis, and respond to the critical needs of vulnerable groups in Victoria, including young people, refugees and asylum seekers, communities experiencing racism, at-risk families, women and children.

Five million in targeted funding will go towards initiatives that support at-risk families, promote youth wellbeing and address youth disengagement. This includes critical funding for Community Support Groups across the state.

For CMY, this funding will enable us to build on the important work being delivered through the South Sudanese Community Support Groups and the Le Mana (Empower) Pasifika Project.

“Our teams are already working so hard to provide targeted support to young people and their families, during a highly stressful time, with increased demand for support services,” said Carmel Guerra.

Initiatives funded will include the digitising of outreach programs; leadership programs for young leaders to support their communities’ response to COVID-19; community engagement and wellbeing initiatives for at-risk young people; and support for families, including packages to facilitate online engagement and engagement.

In addition, the package will provide:

  • Almost $2 million to support community wellbeing and connection and deliver practical supports through existing networks and community organisations.
  • $2.2 million to support asylum seekers and refugees facing financial hardship through basic needs assistance packages.
  • $1.1 million to support multicultural and ethno-specific organisations to deliver culturally appropriate family violence prevention and early intervention.
  • $1 million in additional funding to ensure that those who need interpreters can access them.
  • $50,000 for the Victorian Multicultural Commission to work with community leaders to combat racism.

Recognising the important role of multicultural media organisations in keeping communities informed during the crisis, the Victorian Government will also provide $500,000 in grants to multicultural and multilingual media outlets.

“We commend the Government and the Minister on delivering a package that will ensure targeted support reaches those who need it most,” Carmel Guerra said.

“This support is greatly needed to meet the significant increase in community demand, and is another sign of the government’s leadership and compassion for the many young people and families struggling during COVID-19.”

Read the Victorian Government press release

MEDIA: For further information or to arrange an interview with CMY CEO Carmel Guerra, please contact Hannah Ford on 0429 592 860 or