The Andrews Labor Government is empowering Aboriginal young people in Shepparton by investing in a youth mentoring program.
Speaking at the Aboriginal Children’s Forum in Shepparton, Minister for Youth Affairs Jenny Mikakos announced a further $240,000 investment for the Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative to assist Aboriginal young people in decisions on financial education, healthy lifestyle choices, employment opportunities and housing options.
Rumbalara currently delivers a mentoring program that assists Aboriginal women between 15 and 25 years of age, focusing on young mums.
This new funding is part of $1.75 million in the Victorian Budget 2017/18 for the Aboriginal Youth Mentoring Program, delivered by Aboriginal-controlled organisations to help young people stay connected to culture, family and friends.
The Koorie Youth Council will continue to assist Aboriginal-led organisations to engage young Aboriginal people in the design of the mentoring program, and provide support during its implementation.
The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria will also provide advice and support to ensure the programs meet the Australian National Mentoring Benchmarks.
In addition, an extra $161.1 million has been provided to expand child protection, out of home care and family services.
This funding will also enable the recruitment of a Principal Practitioner for Aboriginal children, which will sit in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of Professional Practice.
This position will improve practice for Aboriginal children as recommended in the Commission for Children and Young People’s inquiry report Always was, always will be Koorie children.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Youth Affairs Jenny Mikakos
“This is about giving young Aboriginal people the tools they need to build networks, set themselves up for the future, and reach their full potential.”
“The mentoring programs have a strong emphasis on connection to culture and community, which we know results in better outcomes for young Aboriginal people.”
Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes
"The Aboriginal Youth Mentoring Program is helping young Aboriginal people in Shepparton make the best decisions about their finances, lifestyle, housing and employment."
Quote attributable to Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative CEO Lee Joachim
“This is a great opportunity to further the work we are doing in this space for young women and their children and their families with a focus on intergenerational conversations.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020