Call to multicultural youth in Ballarat to get involved
Media Release – Tuesday 4 September 2012
Minister for Youth Affairs Ryan Smith today opened the second Victorian Coalition Government funded Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY) office in Ballarat.
Mr Smith said the new Ballarat CMY office delivers on the Coalition Government’s $1.8 million election commitment to ensure young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds have access to services and opportunities in regional Victoria.
“Research shows people from refugee and migrant backgrounds are more vulnerable to experiencing disadvantage and social exclusion,” Mr Smith said.
“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,” Mr Smith said.
Mr Smith said the Coalition Government was committed to providing young Victorians with the opportunity to develop support networks, participate in their community and strengthen their connections with families, peers and communities.
“This new Centre for Multicultural Youth office will provide young people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds in Western Victoria with practical opportunities to get involved in their local community, engage in meaningful relationships and gain important support networks,” Mr Smith said.
“I encourage young people from CALD backgrounds in Ballarat and Western Victoria to visit the new CMY office and get involved in their programs,” Mr Smith said.
Minister for Regional Cities Denis Napthine who joined the opening celebrations said Ballarat was an important location for the office given that it has a high number of young refugees and international students who need access to support and services.
“A number of newly-arrived families have settled in the region in the past five years including young people from Sudan and other African backgrounds.
“In addition, Ballarat University has the highest per capita quota of international students in Australia, with more than 5,000 currently studying, including students from India, Bangladesh and Nepal,” Dr Napthine said.
Centre for Multicultural Youth CEO Carmel Guerra congratulated the Coalition Government for acknowledging and responding to the extra support needed in rural and regional Victoria for multicultural young people.
“CMY has a long history of providing support where it is most needed, typically high settlement areas. Our new Ballarat office will allow us to continue to work in partnership with local service providers to deliver a range of programs and support for young people,” Ms Guerra said.
The new Ballarat CMY is located at 710 Sturt St, Ballarat.
For further information on the Centre for Multicultural Youth please visit www.cmy.net.au