Victorian Government delivers a State Budget that makes a strong investment in young people and commitment to multicultural communities

“We congratulate the Government on putting multicultural young people and communities at the centre of this COVID-19 recovery budget. It recognises that multicultural communities and young people have been among those most negatively impacted by COVID-19, and the budget initiatives provide welcome relief and vital support.”

CMY CEO Carmel Guerra

“We applaud the further funding towards culturally-specific initiatives to help keep vulnerable young people connected and engaged in their community, and link them with education and employment opportunities. This includes continued support for youth Community Support Groups, the Le Mana Pasifika Youth Project, and the Regional Presence Project.”

Key budget highlights for multicultural young people and communities include:


  • $15.1 million over two years for English as an Additional Language and languages education.
  • $38 million over four years to support secondary students for jobs of the future.
  • Over $50 million in funding for tutors to bring students up to speed and address the impact of interrupted face-to-face schooling on their learning ($21.99 million over two years for Government schools and $30 million over two years for non-Government schools).


  • $19.3 million over three years for apprenticeships, to strengthen support for apprentices, trainees and their employers.
  • Funding for Victorians particularly affected by economic disruption, including women, young people, migrants, vulnerable Victorians and retrenched workers, to access subsidised and Free TAFE training to reskill and upskill in 2021.
  • Establishment of a Multicultural Learning Partnership between the Department of Education and Training, AMES Australia, Victorian Multicultural Commission and Adult, Community and Further Education Board.
  • $16.6 million over three years for pathways to employment in growth sectors, to provide additional job training opportunities to support students and job seekers looking to pursue a career in community services.
  • $619.4 million over four years for Jobs for Victoria
  • $87.5 million for the Working for Victoria Initiative, to ensure that Victorian job seekers, including people who lost their jobs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, have been able to find employment in roles that support the community.

Mental Health

  • $152.5 million for Coronavirus (COVID-19) mental health response, to respond to increased demand for mental health and AOD services
  • Expansion of youth mental health support, including the Navigator program, LOOKOUT, Headspace mental health training, expanding the Mental health practitioners in secondary schools program to include specialist schools, and introducing the mental health in primary schools pilot to 20 further schools.
  • $16 million over three years, to promote and support lived experience workforces in Victoria’s mental health system.
  • $12.7 million over two years towards pathways to employment in the mental health workforce, including additional job training opportunities to support students and job seekers looking to pursue a career in the mental health sector.

Youth justice

  • $18 million over four years for crime prevention initiatives, including early intervention programs that address the drivers of offending among priority cohorts to prevent crime before it occurs and improve community safety.
  • Additional funding towards youth justice, including dedicated culturally and linguistically diverse programs and staffing.

Multicultural affairs

  • An Anti-Racism Taskforce will be established to guide the design and implementation of a whole of government Anti-Racism Strategy.
  • Investment in 50 Community Employment Connectors, supporting multicultural communities onto employment pathway services.
  • $34.3 million over two years for multicultural infrastructure projects, and social cohesion and place-based initiatives to maintain youth engagement.
  • $4.5 million to continue delivering the Victorian African Communities Action Plan.  
  • $4.9 million for targeted communications and engagement for multicultural communities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and to support the continued operations of multicultural media outlets.
  • Funding for multicultural and faith organisations to provide supports such as food relief and remote welfare checks to their communities.
  • $2.2 million to support improved settlement outcomes for Victoria’s humanitarian cohorts and emerging migrant communities.   
  • Funding for family violence prevention and early intervention with culturally and linguistically diverse communities.


  • $5.3 billion Big Housing Build package, which will deliver over 12,000 new homes throughout metro and regional Victoria.


  • $21 million over two years towards Get Active Kids Voucher Program, to assist families with the costs of participating in community sport.

International students

  • $35 million for the International Student Emergency Relief Fund.

“A Victorian Anti-Racism Strategy is overdue and we look forward to working with government to ensure multicultural young people and communities are engaged in the co-design of this strategy.”

“The significant investments in youth justice and crime prevention are welcomed, however we would like to see the development of a Multicultural Youth Justice Strategy to guide the implementation of the programs and staffing initiatives.”

“The government’s strong investment in community and social infrastructure programs will ensure young people and their families will build strength and resilience to support their recovery post-COVID and into the future.”

CMY CEO Carmel Guerra