Victorian Budget 2021-22 backs vulnerable young people and communities – spreading the safety net

“We are pleased and heartened by the Government’s considered investment in a safety net that will stretch across vulnerable young people and communities. It will prevent them from falling further into disadvantage, particularly as communities are struggling to recover from the recent lockdown,” said CMY CEO Carmel Guerra.

“Creating a budget that balances the economic and social costs of the pandemic was always going to be a difficult; but this budget sends a strong message to communities that this Government cares and has listened to their voices.”

The Government has shown consideration for the many and varied interests of Victorians and delivered a budget that is fair and compassionate. It is a prudent budget that manages to stretch a safety net across the Victorian community. The targeted investments reflect a follow through on their commitments to mental health, family violence, youth justice, child protection, young people, multicultural communities and importantly, specific investment in tackling racism. This demonstrates the Government’s commitment to building and strengthening communities as we start to recover from the impacts of the pandemic. 

Regional young people often miss out on initiatives but this budget has allowed for continued investment in regional youth in areas such as Inner Gippsland, including the Morwell Youth Space, Ballarat, Warrnambool and Swan Hill. 

Statewide investments for multicultural young people include culturally-specific early interventions to increase education and employment opportunities as well as building their community connections to minimise disengagement from community and life opportunities.

Key budget highlights for multicultural young people and communities include:


  • Over $20 million this year for enhanced engagement with CALD communities and families
  • $1.1 for one year for Multicultural events and programs
  • $4.5 million over two years for Recovery Together
  • $8.7 million over four years for improving settlement outcomes
  • $1.5 over three years for tackling racism, including implementing recommendations of the Anti-Vilification Inquiry.


  • $18.4 million over two years to engage and support at-risk youth, including young people from African and Pasifika backgrounds
  • $6.9 million strengthening youth participation and engagement, including in regional and rural Victoria
  • Investment of a further $2.4 million over two years to provide arrange of wrap-around services for African young people, such as trauma counselling, AOD and sports and recreation activities.

Mental Health

  • $3.8 billion in a 10 year plan for reform
  • $842 million in dedicated youth mental health and wellbeing for children and young people, including $141 million for five new Youth Prevention and Recovery Care Units, outreach support and funding to begin integrating support for general wellbeing and alcohol and other drug treatment into Youth Area Mental Health and Wellbeing Services.
  • $40.7 million to expand and support Victoria’s lived experience workforce, with an additional $11 million to attract, train and recruit mental health professionals to rural and regional Victoria
  • More than $25 million over four years, including $9.6 million to develop a diverse communities’ mental health and wellbeing framework.


  • More than $20 million over two years for English as an Additional Language and languages education
  • $88 million to continue providing subsidised VET to eligible students, including for the Asylum Seeker VET Program
  • More than $80 million over five years to establish the Victorian Skills Authority
  • Almost $3 million over four years for continued investment in social cohesion through education
  • More than $6 million over two years to help tackle the digital skills divide and enhance the employment prospects of educationally disadvantaged Victorians.


  • $15 million over five years to support vulnerable Victorians
  • $19.8 million over four years for Crime Prevention Initiatives  
  • $13.7 million over four years for justice system response to family violence.

Family violence

  • $49 million for supporting all survivors of family violence and sexual assault, including funding to build the capacity of the service system to respond to culturally and linguistically diverse communities and faith communities and case management and brokerage for women on temporary visas.
  • $44 million over four years for responses for children and young people impacted by family violence, including targeted funding to continue the state-wide expansion of services to adolescents who use violence in the home.


  • $1.8 million over four years to support 120 women across the local government sector to engage in leadership training and development.
  • $11.6 million to continue programs that are driving participation and inclusion for women and girls in sport.

CMY welcomes the Government’s continued investment in the South Sudanese Community Support Groups, the Le Mana (Empower) Pasifika Youth Project, and the Regional Presence Project for multicultural youth. These programs support some of our most vulnerable young people who have enormous potential to contribute positively to the Victorian community. 

“We congratulate the Victorian Government for a considered and targeted investment budget, which demonstrates its commitment to supporting a compassionate and fairer community for young people to grow and thrive,” said CMY CEO Carmel Guerra.