The Victorian Government is supporting multicultural and multifaith familiesto ensure they stay connected to their communities amid the coronavirus pandemic. Minister for Multicultural Affairs Ros Spence today announced $11.3 million to help these communities, which are facing their own unique challenges due to social isolation, language barriers or difficulties accessing services such as income support, Medicare or Centrelink.

Almost $2 million is being invested to battle social isolation and strengthen community connections, with up to 250 multicultural community organisations to provide IT support, enhance digital capacity and increase outreach services to those in need. The funding package includes nearly $5 million to support vulnerable and at-risk youths and families in financial hardship who need essential items such as food and clothing. It will boost Government efforts to make sure young people in multicultural communities have the right support, particularly if their schooling or work is disrupted.

The Government will also invest $2.2 million to provide basic needs assistance to thousands of asylum seekers and $1.1 million toward culturally appropriate family violence prevention and early intervention services. The package also includes $1 million to boost translated messaging across government departments, so Victorians with English as a second language can better navigate their way through the pandemic. In light of recent racial attacks on Asian Victorians, the Victorian Multicultural Commission will also work in partnership with the Victorian Human Rights Commission to increase awareness about how to respond and where to lodge a complaint. This work will complement the Government’s Stronger Together campaign to show solidarity with Chinese communities and pay tribute to the contribution they make to our state.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Multicultural Affairs Ros Spence “Here in Victoria we’re proudly multicultural and we’re proud of our multicultural and multi-faith communities. They deserve our support as we deal with the coronavirus pandemic together.” “We know that multicultural communities face unique challenges throughout the pandemic – that’s why this package of support is so important.” “We’re making sure families in multicultural communities have the support and the essentials they need to get to the other side of this crisis.”

State of Victoria https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/