Vulnerable women and children living in Mildura will receive extra support and services from the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos, visited Mildura today to meet with community leaders and the providers of family and children’s services.

While visiting the Mallee Sexual Assault Centre and Domestic Violence Service, Ms Mikakos announced the centre would receive an additional $200,000 over two years to boost its counselling services and housing assistance for women and children who have experienced family violence.

Vulnerable children and families across the region will be further supported through the Labor Government’s $15.6 million expansion of the rural after hours service, secured in the 2015-16 Victorian Budget.

The expansion will mean that for the first time, specialist child protection workers will be dedicated to providing on-call, after-hours assistance to vulnerable children and families across the Mallee.

Ms Mikakos affirmed the Labor Government’s belief that all children should have the same opportunity for a good start in life, while joining with local councillors to open two refurbished and redeveloped Mildura kindergartens.

The $383,400 extension to the TAFE Kids Childcare Centre provides 50 new four-year-old kinder places, supporting many of the children currently in long day care to transition to the centre’s kinder program.

The $381,530 upgrade to the Kathleen Kelly Kindergarten has seen the centre’s playrooms refurbished and a new disabled toilet, kitchen and children’s bathroom constructed.

Ms Mikakos also toured Zoe Support Australia, the Mallee Family Care (MFC) and De Garis Preschool, commending the services for supporting children and women to overcome barriers and participate in education.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos

“The Andrews Labor Government is making it very clear: we will not tolerate family violence or the abuse of children in any part of Victoria.”

“We’re making it easier for women and children in the region who have experienced family violence to access timely therapeutic support, helping them to recover.”

“Labor is building the Education State. We’ve secured $50 million to build and upgrade kindergartens across Victoria, giving our kids the best start in life.”