Nearly 900 Victorian multicultural seniors groups will be getting a $4,000 cheque in the mail from the Andrews Labor Government to support their work helping older migrants and ensuring they stay connected to their communities.
Fulfilling a pre-election commitment, the $3.6 million boost will allow seniors organisations from across the state to hold events, excursions, cultural music performances, religious celebrations and a range of other activities.
The grants will also be used for buying or upgrading equipment, like fridges, barbeques and other commercial kitchen appliances.
Organisations representing 70 different cultural groups, including Chinese, Greek, Indian, Somalian and Italian seniors organisations, will benefit from the grants, including:
- Richmond Chinese Elderly Welfare Association
- Australian Swiss Cultural Society, East Gippsland
- Croatian Senior Citizens Club, Geelong
- German Austrian Association, Ballarat
- Refugee and Immigrant Women’s Support Group, Dandenong
In Victoria, almost a third of those aged 65 years and over have a culturally, linguistically or religiously diverse heritage.
The funding pays tribute to these Victorians and also acknowledges the increased risk of loneliness and disconnection senior Victorians face as they grow older.
It also honours the sacrifices made by older migrants who, in many cases, came to Australia, worked hard for decades far away from their immediate family to build a brighter future for their children and our state.
This year’s Budget outlined a raft of initiatives to support Victoria’s diverse communities, including expanded language programs, culturally-specific aged care homes, support for multicultural media and a new Anti-Racism Action Plan.
As noted by Minister for Multicultural Affairs Richard Wynne
“In Victoria we are proud of our multiculturalism – we are richer for it.”
“This funding recognises the significant role Victoria’s older migrants played in shaping Victoria into the vibrant and inclusive place it is now – to them, we say thank you.”
“They’ve worked for decades creating a life here – as they get older, we want to make sure they maintain that connection with their local community, but also their own cultural heritage.”