September 28, 2016


The Andrews Labor Government has provided $920,000 for a major community partnership program aimed at increasing social inclusion and participation among multicultural and diverse communities in Western Victoria.

Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott and Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard made the announcement at the Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council (BRMC) joining with local community leaders to celebrate the funding.

As the lead agency in the Central Highlands and Wimmera EVOLVE Strategic Partnership, BRMC was granted $920,000 over four years from the Victorian Multicultural Commission’s Capacity Building and Participation Grants program.

BRMC’s major partners in the project include; Ballarat Community Health, Centre for Multicultural Youth, City of Ballarat and the Wimmera Development Association.

The Partnership will see the BRMC work with culturally diverse individuals and communities, especially new migrants, asylum seekers and refugees to deliver:

  • A social enterprise in Ballarat coordinating accommodation, social and service information, employment and other opportunities
  • Public events to welcome and connect migrant communities
  • Community volunteer engagement, training and support
  • Social cohesion and community education projects.

Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre also received $60,000 over two years ($30,000 per annum) from the Commission, towards its Kickstart program, which offers employment and training coaching with the purpose of breaking the cycle of unemployment and underemployment among Ballarat’s multicultural residents.

Quotes from Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Robin Scott

Funding the Central Highlands and Wimmera EVOLVE Strategic Partnership will increase the participation of multicultural communities in the Wimmera and Central Highlands Region.”

“This partnership will support an inclusive and integrated community and foster partnerships between communities, service providers and local government across the region.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Buninyong, Geoff Howard

“I’d like to commend BRMC for leading the development of this fantastic program. This funding will enable them to build on the great work they do supporting our new arrivals to settle in our community and share their rich culture.”

“Ballarat Neighbourhood House’s Kickstart program will be particularly beneficial for community members with limited English skills, as it will help expand social connections and provide supported access to work experience.”