The Andrews Labor Government is working with grassroots organisations to give young people more opportunities to connect with their communities through the new Youth Engagement Grants.

Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams, today announced that African Women’s and Families Network and Cleeland United Soccer Club Incorporated would be two of the 19 organisations have been selected to develop initiatives to empower and support young people in their communities.

African Women’s and Families Network will use sport and other activities to engage young African-Australian women to aid them in building connections to their peers and the community, as well as building resilience.

Cleeland United will provide a safe place for young, newly arrived migrants and their families in Dandenong, and provide opportunities to connect with others through a homework club as well as Zumba and soccer programs.

The Youth Engagement Grants will provide $1.7 million in funding over two grant rounds, with up to $50,000 per grant for small multicultural and Aboriginal clubs and community organisations to support young people aged 8 – 24 years.

The grants help address the root causes of crime, giving communities the ability to intervene early, helping teenagers build positive lives for themselves.

Social isolation has been raised by young people through the Andrews Labor Government’s Empowering Communities program, through which local communities build crime prevention projects.

Community empowerment and partnerships are a key focus of the government’s Crime Prevention Strategy, which recognises that each community has the expertise, knowledge and ideas to design solutions that are right for them.

Investment in the Youth Engagement grants is part of a broader $30 million investment from the 2020-21 and 2021-22 State Budgets to deliver the Victorian Government’s Crime Prevention Strategy.

For more information visit www.crimeprevention.vic.gov.au/youthengagementgrants

Quotes attributable to Minister for Crime Prevention, Natalie Hutchins

“We know that disconnection and social isolation can drive young people away from their communities and towards riskier behaviour.”

“But we also know that grassroots organisations have the skills, knowledge and expertise to address the root causes of crime, which is why we’re partnering with local groups to build a safer Victoria for all.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams

“Cleeland United and the African Women’s and Families Network do wonderful work with young people across our region. I am pleased that the Andrews Labor Government is supporting them to reach more young people and help them build brighter futures for themselves.”