A NEW centre to ease the transition into the region for migrants and refugees has opened in Ballarat.
Traditionally situated in metropolitan areas, the Centre for Multicultural Youth launched its second regional office in Ballarat this week.
CMY chief executive officer Carmel Guerra said the idea of the new centre was not to step on the toes of any existing programs or organisations, but rather to complement them and fill in the gaps.
"We want to complement other programs. We don't want to be in competition," Ms Guerra said.
"If there's a great program around the corner, hopefully we will facilitate another pathway for new residents to get into that program."
Afghan refugee turned Ballarat resident Ghulam Mohammed, 18, spoke of his experiences at the launch and how Ballarat had come to be his home.
He now bears the title of a multicultural ambassador.
Ghulam told The Courier his move to Ballarat in May last year was difficult, but he had since integrated well and now lived with an Australian family.
"The centre will help other migrants to settle in Ballarat I would have liked the centre when I first arrived," he said.
Youth Affairs Minister Ryan Smith, who launched the centre, said research showed people from refugee and migrant backgrounds were more vulnerable to experiencing disadvantage and social exclusion.
"Ballarat was chosen as the second location for a regional CMY office to meet the needs of the migrant population of Ballarat that is estimated to increase by 15,000 by 2036," he said.