Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan) (12:49): My constituency question is directed to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Community Sport and Minister for Youth, the Honourable Ros Spence. My question relates to the minister’s portfolio responsibilities of youth. The Andrews Labor government is backing multicultural young people with more opportunities to develop their skills and come together through sport. A total of $450,000 in funding has been announced for sporting organisations that deliver mentoring and skill-building activities for African and Muslim young people. This includes $150,000 each for the Bachar Houli Foundation, Western Bulldogs Community Foundation and the Huddle. All three of these foundations promote the skills and values to empower a new group of young leaders in our community. My question to the minister is: can the minister provide an update on how youth from multicultural communities in Western Metropolitan Region will benefit from these programs? Young people from Victoria’s multicultural and faith communities have faced significant challenges during the coronavirus pandemic. With investments like these, the Labor government is ensuring young people can recover stronger than ever.
Ms SPENCE (Yuroke—Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Community Sport, Minister for Youth) (10 June 2021):
I thank the Member for Western Metropolitan Region for her question and for her ongoing support for young people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
The Andrews Labor Government is committed to partnering with communities to provide engaging and culturally appropriate opportunities and support to young Victorians. Young people from diverse backgrounds—including African, Pasifika and Muslim young people—face additional challenges to achieving the social, economic, health and wellbeing outcomes of their peers. Tailored programs and services give these young people the best possible access to equitable opportunities.
Sport fosters vital social connections and offers opportunities for young people to grow through mentoring, leadership and career development. Our Government is proud to invest $450,000 to support the Bachar Houli Foundation (a partner of Richmond Football Club), Western Bulldogs Community Foundation (based at Western Bulldogs Football Club) and The Huddle (based at North Melbourne Football Club) to deliver mentoring, leadership and skill building activities for African, Pasifika and Muslim young people.
The programs delivered by the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation and The Huddle will connect and inspire young people from across the Western Metropolitan Region.
The Western Bulldogs Community Foundation’s GOAL Youth Mentoring Program will engage 40 young people from our African communities in Melbourne’s west through mentoring and personal development workshops. This program is designed to build young people’s confidence and leadership skills and connect them to their local community.
The Huddle’s True North Program will engage more than 200 young people from African, Pasifika and Muslim backgrounds in Melbourne’s west through workshops that aim to improve their educational and employment outcomes. This program is also designed to build young people’s awareness about factors that contribute to positive mental health and wellbeing.
As the Member for Western Metropolitan Region has noted, young people from Victoria’s multicultural and faith communities have faced significant challenges during the coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic. With investments in programs like these, the Andrews Labor Government is ensuring that young people have the support they need to recover.
I look forward to keeping the Member for Western Metropolitan Region updated on the success of these important programs, and to continuing to work with her to improve outcomes for young people in the western suburbs.