Young people in Dandenong will have more opportunities to actively participate in, and connect with, their local community through the Andrew Labor Government’s Engage! 2018-20 program.

Nine Dandenong youth programs have today been announced as successful recipients of Engage! 2018-20 grants. The grants, totalling $945,000, will fund both new and existing programs in Dandenong to support young people aged between 12 and 25.

The Southern Migrant & Refugee Centre (SMRC) has received $100,000 in funding for their new Youth P.O.D Project (Youth Participation, Opportunities & Development Project). This project will build skills, knowledge and connectedness of young people to their communities, working particularly with those who are newly arrived in Australia. The project will involve educating young people in school through interactive workshops and mentoring projects.

Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams, said SMRC joins 107 local government and community organisations across the state who will share in the $12.3 million Engage! 2018-20 program.

The Engage! Program helps young people strengthen their education, training and employment pathways, and improve their health and wellbeing.

Young people are a key part of developing and delivering Engage! projects, which are aimed at a diversity of youth, including Aboriginal young people, young people from culturally diverse backgrounds, LGBTQI young people, young people with disabilities and young people living in rural and regional Victoria.

Engage! supports the Labor Government’s ongoing commitment to better connect young people with their communities, as outlined in the Youth Policy: Building Stronger Youth Engagement.

The Youth Policy also supports young people to have their say and participate in decision-making on government policy and practices.

For more information, please visit youthcentral.vic.gov.au.