Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Nicholas Kotsiras today announced 12 grants worth $480,000 to Victoria's multicultural community organisations.
The Victorian Coalition Government's Unity Through Partnerships grants program is an initiative designed to support major multicultural festivals and events in Victoria and to foster cross-cultural connections that encourage involvement of the whole community in celebrating cultural diversity.
"We believe that greater unity is achieved through the sharing of our differences and by learning about each other through celebrations that involve partnerships between two or more multicultural communities," Mr Kotsiras said.
Mr Kotsiras said the funded projects enable organisations to cultivate partnerships with other culturally diverse communities with the intention of encouraging cultural exchange and collaboration.
"Music, dance, food and art fashion a resilient bridge upon which communities can meet and exchange cultures and thus foster greater understanding about each other's uniqueness and similarities" Mr Kotsiras said
"Artistic and cultural exchange is not new, it is an ancient and established method of creating greater understanding and also in generating something new and exciting"
The Unity Through Partnerships grants program provides funding of up to $100,000 for multicultural festivals and events in Melbourne and regional Victoria.
Some of the highlights of the Unity Through Partnerships program include the Piers Festival held at Station and Princess Pier in South Melbourne, Pakofest in Geelong and a Diwali festival at Federation Square.
Through this program the Victorian Coalition Government has increased overall funding to Victoria's multicultural communities by $1.1 million per annum, demonstrating its commitment to building a resilient, vibrant and cohesive multicultural society.