Ballarat’s Centre for Multicultural Youth will be able to continue its operations over the next two years after the state government announced more than $1 million for the service provider.
The service provider’s Ballarat branch is one of four youth sector organisations who will share in the $2.025 million regional presence project, with operations in Morwell, Swan Hill and Warrnambool also benefiting.
The centre which assists up to 80 young people throughout the Ballarat region through its school based programs has been operating since 2012, but up until now its future was uncertain.
CMY team leader Barry Petrovski said the continued funding was positive recognition from the government that the organisation’s work was making a difference.
“They can see the social impact we are delivering in terms of helping young people to settle in well in regional areas, but also in terms of our work in promoting diversity and social cohesion.”
Pakistani-born Mohammed Mehdi is among the young people to have accessed the service, and recently the 20-year-old took on a leadership role at CMY.
Mr Mehdi said the centre had played a major role in allowing him to integrate into the Ballarat community as well as find employment.
“I’ve met new people and they’ve helped me get a job, so they’re doing a really amazing job,” Mr Mehdi said.
Youth Affairs Minister Jenny Mikakos said the centre was an example of how best to engage young people from different backgrounds.
“We know that for young people who have come from refugee and migrant backgrounds they can find additional hurdles in accessing services as well as education, and these are the kinds of things that will make a real difference in their lives.”