Ministers Statement: CALD Communities Support

Ms SPENCE (Yuroke—Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Community Sport, Minister for Youth) (14:37): I rise to update the house on the Andrews Labor government’s engagement with multicultural communities during the pandemic, because if we want health information to reach CALD Victorians, we know that we need to speak their languages and we need to meet them in their communities, and there is no better way to get this right than to partner directly with members of these communities. That is why we established the CALD communities task force in August last year, which has provided almost $18 million to over 320 organisations to equip people with the resources that they need to stay safe.

The task force has established a WhatsApp group with over 160 community leaders to help share information. It has partnered with the Centre for Multicultural Youth to support young people to spread health messages to their peers. In-language stakeholder packs have been provided to a network of over 6000, and community ambassadors have produced information videos in over 57 languages. We have partnered with multicultural media outlets, and a daily multilingual news service is being broadcast to 350 000 Victorians each week. We have run countless round tables and information sessions with impacted communities.

In June I announced a further $12.1 million for the task force, including $5 million for the priority response grants programs so that community organisations can continue to provide emergency relief and $7 million for target communications, translations and engagement initiatives to help get CALD Victorians vaccinated. Bicultural workers in local government areas are encouraging communities to get the jab, which we are rolling out in partnership with the commonwealth. Our government has invested $61.4 million in multicultural communities since the start of the pandemic, and it will not stop there.