STRENGTHENING SUPPORT FOR YOUNG PACIFIC ISLANDERS

The Andrews Labor Government is giving young Pacific Islanders targeted support and more opportunities to connect with their community through a new pilot program.

The Government is investing $600,000 for the Young Pasifika Program to fund experienced youth outreach workers to work directly with young Pacific Islanders and re-connect them to school, jobs and training.

The youth outreach workers will help engage young people through existing community networks and relationships such as sport, churches and local government programs.

Young people in Pacific Islander communities can face a number of challenges including disengagement from school, experimenting with alcohol or drugs and racism and discrimination.

The program will also fund a project coordinator to work closely with local organisations and networks to help improve links between support services and deliver a coordinated response to issues faced by young Pacific Islanders.

The program will initially be delivered in the local council areas of Casey and Wyndham, and then the program would be extended into Brimbank and Dandenong to reach young Pacific Islanders in those areas.

The Government is delivering a range of measures to support vulnerable and at-risk communities.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Youth Affairs Jenny Mikakos

“The Andrews Labor Government is supporting young people in Pacific Islander communities by improving their social, community and economic opportunities.”

“This funding will help give young Pacific Islanders the opportunities and support they need to reach their potential.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott

“It’s an unfortunate truth that youths in certain communities are at greater risk of dropping out of school or work, engaging in risky behaviour and suffering racism and discrimination.”

“That’s why it’s so important for us to offer targeted support to ensure every Victorian – regardless of where they come from – gets a fair go.”