Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan) (12:42): (1481) 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 portfolio responsibilities of multicultural affairs.
Many older Victorians came to Victoria and worked their whole lives to build a better future for the next generations. That is why the Victorian government is supporting seniors of multicultural backgrounds through the multicultural seniors support 2021–25 program. Over 900 multicultural seniors groups will receive grants of up to $2000 per annum to support their members and build stronger community connections.
My question to the minister is: can the minister please provide me an update on how seniors groups of the Western Metropolitan Region can access funding through the multicultural seniors support program?
Groups can use the funding to conduct social and cultural activities, to improve seniors’ digital accessibility and literacy, to provide practical support, to purchase essential equipment and resources, and for running costs. Seniors groups in the Western Metropolitan Region in Victoria have played important roles in maintaining and preserving their cultures and passing them on to the next generations.
Ros Spence MP Minister for Multicultural Affairs(11/11/2021):
I thank the Member for her question, and for her continued support of multicultural seniors in the Western Metropolitan Region.
The Andrews Labor Government is committed to assisting Victoria’s multicultural seniors to reconnect and support each other as our state recovers from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Victoria’s multicultural seniors have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Many seniors in our multicultural communities have struggled to maintain their social and cultural connections due to the necessary restrictions to protect the health of them and the wider community. That is why our Government provided $1.9 million in 2020-21 through the Coronavirus Support for Multicultural Seniors program to support multicultural seniors’ groups to provide digital support networks to its members, emergency care packages for multicultural seniors and support club operating costs.
As restrictions ease, it is essential that all community members, including our culturally and linguistically diverse seniors, are supported to safely re-engage with their community.
Through the new Multicultural Seniors Support 2021-25 program, the Government has committed $2.0 million each year over the next four years to support multicultural seniors’ groups. More than 900 seniors’ groups that have previously received Victorian Government grants and have a demonstrated track record in supporting their members, were issued a Direct Funding Offer last month. This approach streamlines the grant allocation process by not requiring each group to submit a new application for funding.
Funding can be used by seniors’ groups to cover the costs of supporting their members, including social and cultural activities, delivering practical support, improving digital accessibility, purchasing equipment and resources and other related running costs.
Funding is also available to new and emerging multicultural seniors’ organisations which have not previously been part of the program.
I encourage new seniors’ groups to apply online at http://www.vic.gov.au/multicultural- seniors-support-program and take up this funding opportunity to build and strengthen connections with their communities.
Thank you again to the Member for her interest in this important work, and I look forward to providing further updates on our Government’s support for multicultural seniors.