Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, Nicholas Kotsiras today officially opened the African Australian Community Centre in Footscray.
The centre will serve as a meeting place, a place of celebration, a place of learning and importantly, a place of outreach and support.
The project had secured $450,000 in State Government funding, and the Coalition Government boosted that with another $167,000 from the Cultural Precincts and Community Infrastructure Fund bringing the total investment to more than $600,000.
Mr Kotsiras said that this project illustrates how the Coalition Government remains committed to supporting all of our newly-arrived migrants and humanitarian communities.
“Our African-Australian communities comprise a vibrant mix of diverse cultures, with their own unique traditions, languages, faiths and heritage and this is the essence of our multicultural society,” Mr Kotsiras said
“This facility represents an iconic development toward supporting the African community in Melbourne’s western suburbs and is the joint product of cross-government funding and community initiative.
“By supporting cross-government projects like these, our arriving communities are better able to successfully settle in Victoria and participate in our communities.
“The overwhelming need to provide support and key services to members of this diverse and emerging community has resulted in this remarkable redevelopment in the heart of the African cultural precinct here in Footscray,” Mr Kotsiras said.
“This facility and adjoining settlement services will now provide Sudanese and other African community members with vital services and opportunities to come together and strengthen both their own unity and community capacity as a whole but also access key training and resources to develop their skills as active members of the broader Victorian community.”
Mr Kotsiras commended the Brotherhood of St Laurence, the City of Maribyrnong, the Anglican Parish, the Community Advisory Committee and the Sudanese Community for ensuring this project comes to fruition.
“Victoria is fortunate to have such a diverse society – and to have so many new Victorians settle here from African nations,” Mr Kotsiras said.
“Through a range of dedicated programs, grants and assistance, the Coalition Government seeks to ensure that Victoria’s African communities have the necessary tools and support they need to start a successful new life here as Victorians.
“This community centre will complement the work of the Victorian Government by drawing on the strengths of the local African community and provide opportunities to assist the community’s wellbeing,” Mr Kotsiras said.