Young Leaders of the West | Constituency Question & Response

Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan) (14:18:36): My constituency question is directed to the Honourable Marlene Kairouz, the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation and Minister for Suburban Development. The Andrews Labor government is working to prevent gambling harm in culturally and linguistically diverse communities across Victoria. The Victorian budget 2019–20 invests $153 million for the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation to support at-risk Victorians, including $3 million for targeted programs to support communities in a number of areas. As you would know, a project named Young Leaders of the West was launched last year. This project aims to engage young men and women to lead and highlight the role they can play in preventing harm from gambling. My question to the minister is: can the minister provide details around the timeline of this project and outline the stages planned for constituents in my electorate?


Ms KAIROUZ (Kororoit—Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Minister for Suburban Development) (15 August 2019): As noted, in the 2019 budget the Victorian Government announced funding of $153 million over four years to the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation to address gambling harm. Included in this is $400,000 to expand the Young Leaders of the West project to other areas of Melbourne’s west. Led by IPC Health, and in partnership with Sons of the West (Western Bulldogs) and Brimbank City Council, the Young Leaders of the West project (the project) supports young people to raise awareness among their peers of gambling risks and harms, especially sports betting. It also highlights the role young people can play in reducing stigma and preventing the cycle of gambling harm. For example, in the first phase of the project, young people co-designed a new gambling harm awareness campaign to counteract the activities of the betting industry. This campaign is expected to be promoted via social media and at information sessions. As part of piloting an arts-based model to educate school aged young people on gambling harm in several high schools and council youth groups, the Young Leaders of the West will shortly stage a gambling awareness youth art exhibition. A project plan is currently being established for the next stage of the Young Leaders of the West project. The program will be delivered over four years commencing in the 2019-20 financial year. It is anticipated that key phases of the project will include recruiting a new intake of young leaders from areas neighbouring the Brimbank City Council municipality, the design of gambling harm awareness campaign materials, and a series of awareness raising workshops delivered by the young leaders for other young people.