Engage!

MINISTERS STATEMENTS

In another portfolio capacity, I rise to update the house about the Andrews Labor government’s continued support for youth engagement and to congratulate the successful grant recipients in the latest round of Engage! funding. I was recently really pleased to announce that more than $12.3 million will be provided to 107 local government and community organisations over the next three years to support local projects that help young people to actively participate in and connect with their local communities.

In January I was fortunate to visit successful Engage! grant recipients in Frankston. Together with the local member for Frankston in the Assembly, Paul Edbrooke, I announced $265 000 in funding for two Engage! programs in his local community, including Frankston City Council’s Youth Involved program to support young people with health and wellbeing literacy, local decision‑making, career and education planning opportunities and avenues for job skills development, and also the SalvoCare Eastern youth services’ Tools for the Trade program, which is a trade orientation program for young people.

The very next day I was pleased to join Sharon Knight, the member for Wendouree in the Assembly, and Geoff Howard, the member for Buninyong in the Assembly — both local members in Ballarat — to announce $435 000 over the next three years for four programs across Wendouree, Buninyong and Ripon. This includes funding for Arts Access Victoria to run Nexus for young people with a disability, young deaf people and those who experience mental illness to engage in the arts; funding for Yeramun Toort‑baram, an Aboriginal empowerment program; funding for the City of Ballarat to run Umm: In Action!, a program for young people to be actively engaged, valued and respected citizens; and funding for Big Brothers Big Sisters — Engage! Ballarat program to facilitate meaningful mentoring relationships for young people.

A number of other great programs have been funded. All these programs have been funded because we believe every young person should have the opportunities and support they need to reach their full potential, including those who face disadvantage. I congratulate all the successful grant recipients.