“Family connection is important to ground and support young people,” said Minister for Youth, the Hon. Gabrielle Williams.
“The Community Support Group in Dandenong works with the family as well as with the young person to build those support networks and connections.”
The Minister for Youth was speaking at the official opening of the South Sudanese Community Support Group for Dandenong and Casey on Thursday 18 April 2019.
The Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY) is the auspice organisation for the Community Support Group (CSG), which is funded by the Victorian Government. The CSG is a coordinated, community-led approach to enhance youth and community engagement and to respond to local community issues and needs.
The group aims to strengthen youth engagement in South Sudanese communities and to ensure that young people and their families are linked into an integrated range of programs and activities in the local area.
“The CSG has already connected hundreds of young people with a broader sense of community,” she said.
“I want to thank all the staff, volunteers, reference group members and the South Sudanese community in Dandenong for lending your time and expertise to this project. I know it is a passion project for many of you.”
Aunty Pat led the proceedings with a Welcome to Country, after which the Minister toured the office along with CMY CEO Carmel Guerra, CMY’s Dandenong CSG team, young people from the community, Member of Parliament Julian Hill.
After a morning tea break, renowned musician and singer Gordon Koang ushered in good cheer through song and members from Acholi Dance Group made everyone jump up on the dance floor for a mid-morning groove.
“The initial indications are that this project is travelling very well and I’m looking forward to working with you all to take this forward,” concluded the Minister.