Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Tony McRae has approved grants to community-based organisations under the Western Australian Inclusion and Integration Grants Program.
The Volunteering WA group and Cockburn Volunteer Resource Centre will receive $16,000 for a ‘Buddy Up for Youth’ program to work towards interaction and active participation by newly arrived youth and youth volunteers from the broader community.
This will address a gap in existing services, as there are no programs specifically aimed at providing volunteer assistance for the settlement needs of newly arrived migrant youth. The target group will be approximately 20 young people aged 12 to18 years of age, with volunteers being matched according to sex and age.
“The project will ease the integration of young people who have recently arrived in Australia and who live in the Cockburn region and will involve interaction and support from community volunteers,” Mr McRae said.
“Participation by both the young people and volunteers in discussions and activities to ease the transition to the new school and community environment has the potential to be of substantial and lasting benefit.”
The Grants Program is one of the key initiatives flowing from the Inclusion and Integration Action Plan approved by Cabinet in 2005 and was developed in recognition of the need for broad-scale change to address exclusion and social alienation of some members of religious and ethnic minorities, particularly those from new and emerging communities.
The grants will support community organisations with new plans, or building on existing ones promoting integration, inclusion and active participation of minority groups in all walks of life.
“I am confident the projects will produce terrific results as they involve partnerships and collaboration between community organisations and the non-Government sector, facilitate interaction between minority groups and the broader community and promote active citizenship among minority communities,” the Minister said.
“In approving these grants, a strong emphasis has been placed on innovative projects for young people and those designed to remove structural and other barriers to participation, particularly of new and emerging communities.”
The next round of grants will be announced in early 2007 and the Office of Multicultural Interests will continue to work with community groups to develop their project ideas and assist them in the application process.
Minister's office - 9213 7150