The Andrews Labor Government has underlined its commitment to a thriving, diverse and harmonious Victoria through a $74 million investment to bolster multicultural affairs and social cohesion in the last budget.
To maximise the return on this investment, the Labor Government is realigning the functions within the Multicultural Affairs portfolio to strengthen the strategic role of the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC).
The realignment implements a key recommendation of the 2014 Victorian Auditor General report, Access to Services for Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers, which found that there was overlap and ambiguity between the roles and responsibilities of the VMC and the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship (OMAC).
The realignment will remove duplication and provide clearer roles and responsibilities by enabling the VMC to perform a stronger, more influential strategic role, streamlining the administration of grant programs and strengthening the policy and program delivery of OMAC.
Under the realignment, the VMC will continue to undertake community consultations, investigation and research, and provide advice to government on service delivery issues and play a key role in grant approvals. OMAC will provide strong whole-of-Government policy advice; lead on Commonwealth-State relations in multicultural affairs; and strengthen Cultural Diversity Planning and reporting across the Victorian Government.
Multicultural communities are also set to benefit as a result of a clearer and simpler grants process to be administered by OMAC. Funding certainty for multicultural grant programs has also been provided, with ongoing funding secured by the Victorian Government through the recent 2015-16 State Budget for:
- Capacity Building and Participation
- Multicultural Community Infrastructure and Cultural Precincts
- Promoting Harmony and Social Cohesion
- Multicultural Festivals and Events
Quotes attributable to Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Robin Scott
“By responding to the concerns of the Auditor General, the government has enhanced the role of the VMC.”
“Multicultural community grant programs are critical to strengthen our social cohesion and community resilience; foster inclusion, participation and equality of opportunity; and celebrate Victoria’s diversity.”
“Under this realignment, we will have a clearer, simpler, more transparent grants process to ensure money is prioritised for those communities and projects which are most in need.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020