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Friday, December 1, 2023

Funding boost for seniors from multicultural backgrounds

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The Victorian Government is continuing to support seniors from multicultural backgrounds to stay connected to culture and community through grants to help community groups keep activities running.

Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Ros Spence, today announced that more than 900 multicultural seniors’ organisations will share in $7.4 million over the next four years.

Up to $2000 per year will be provided to support the delivery of in-person and digital activities by community groups.

It will cover running costs for social and cultural activities and the purchase of equipment, as well as the development of remote and in-person support programs to build stronger community connections.

“It’s vital seniors can reconnect with their communities as we ease restrictions – whether through morning teas, gardening clubs or cultural events,” Spence said.

“We are giving back to the Victorians who built our state, so they can catch up with the people and activities they’ve missed.”

Organisations will also receive public liability insurance and group personal accident insurance to provide coverage for members and volunteers delivering programs and activities – removing a potentially significant cost for these local community groups.

Organisations funded cover a wide range of communities across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria, including the Oakleigh Chinese Senior Club, Keon Park Greek Senior Citizens Club, Point Cook Indian Seniors Group, Frankston Filipino Seniors Support Group and the Wangaratta Italian Pensioners Club.

The funding recognises the challenges the pandemic has presented for multicultural seniors’ communities, and the importance of social and cultural connections for maintaining resilience in difficult times.

The Government also encourages newly established multicultural seniors’ groups or those that did not receive a direct funding offer to apply online through the Multicultural Seniors Support program. Applications close 28 February 2025. For more information or to apply, visit: vic.gov.au/multicultural-seniors-support.

Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers, James Merlino, said the funding was important particularly in these difficult Covid times of disconnection and uncertainty.

“Remaining connected to culture as we get older is critical for keeping up mental and physical health – and we’re proud to support Victoria’s multicultural seniors with a strong sense of community,” he said.

The funding is in addition to over $2.1 million allocated through the CALD Communities Taskforce to ensure multicultural seniors groups are equipped to continue supporting their members through the pandemic.

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