上海水磨论坛CB

first_imgNewly arrived Greeks in Victoria are set to benefit from an injection of funding in the multicultural and education sector, thanks to the Victorian budget announced this week. More than $74 million has been allocated to multicultural affairs and social cohesion programs while the education sector is set to receive around $3 billion in funding, helping hundreds of newly arrived families doing it tough.Families struggling to afford the extra costs of education will be helped by $178 million worth of programs that include a camps, sports and excursions fund.Premier Daniel Andrews says fitting in when starting school is very important to young children coming from ethnic backgrounds, and is happy to see the budget helping more than 200,000 disadvantaged students receive the help they need.“I know that there are those in a newly arrived communities who are doing it tough, and will be interested to see a much fairer approach to supporting parents with the costs of educating their kids,” he said in a multicultural media conference this week.The budget expands a free uniform, shoes and books program run by the State Schools’ Relief and offers free eye tests to 250 disadvantaged schools. The Australian Greek Welfare Society has been given $360,000 to increase its capacity to service the needs to the newly arrived over the next four years.It’s a much needed boost for the organisation that has been inundated with new clients due to our community’s aging population and newly arrived Greeks.Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, Robin Scott, says giving funding to organsisations that already have a big presence in the community helps bridge the gap between the government and those doing it tough.“We need to strengthen those community organisations and provide some support for community groups that assist those newly arrived migrants,” he tells Neos Kosmos.AGWS CEO, Voula Messimeri says she is grateful for the grant.“These funds will be well utilised helping to ease the dual burden that AGWS has been struggling under in the last three to four years, with service demands by an increasingly ageing, numerically large community, and on the other hand, by a significant group of people newly arrived from Greece.”The Government is also investing in cultural precincts and community infrastructure, giving $11 million over the next four years to improve and update the bustling multicultural hubs.A new Indian precinct is on the cards, while the Greek precinct is set to be spruced up. “Lonsdale Street is one of the precincts that can be better, and it will with significant investments in partnership with the federal government,” Premier Andrews tells Neos Kosmos. “The new Greek cultural centre looks fantastic, but we can make that precinct better.”Minister Scott says the $11 million allocated will be dispersed to fund projects like introducing bilingual signage at cultural precincts after extensive community consultation.However, whilst Premier Andrews admits the funding is there, it will take some time for these projects to be finalised. The Greek Australian sporting community will also benefit thanks to a $100 million funding pledge to help community sporting clubs update their facilities. Minister for Families, Children and Youth Affairs, Jenny Mikakos, says the budget will help fight the “scourge of domestic violence” in our multicultural and newly arrived communities. $10.2 million has been allocated to help assist survivors of family violence, $3.5 million for counselling services for women and children, and $1 million for men’s family violence services.“Every child deserves the best start to life, which is why we are boosting the number of child protection works and early intervention services for vulnerable families,” Ms Mikakos says.The Government hopes to also create 100,000 new jobs over the next four years, with the unemployment rate predicted to fall to 5.75 per cent in 2018-19.Access to work, quality education and good healthcare is something Mr Scott believes will help newly arrived migrants with the opportunities to succeed in Victoria.“It’s absolutely critical for newly arrived migrants to have access to a good education, access to jobs, to give themselves a chance in life when they come to Victoria.”He believes Victoria is the best state for migrants to set themselves up in Australia, and believes our acceptance of multiculturalism is at the heart of the state’s prosperity.“Victoria is the place that has the strongest support for multiculturalism, the strongest acceptance for those of difference out of any state,” he says. “There are real economic opportunities and we’ve invested strongly to get people the services they need.”Next week, the federal government will release their second budget. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more