We are pleased to share ECCV’s Pre-Budget Submission 2023-24. Our submission calls on the state government to enact a long-term vision for Victoria that is creative and resilient, capable of anticipating and responding to the needs and challenges facing our increasingly diverse communities.

In recent years, the state government has boosted funding to help the multicultural sector address a raft of challenges including climate disasters, COVID-19, and the social and economic inequalities exposed or exacerbated by the pandemic. However, it is not sustainable to respond reactively in times of crisis.

With the rising cost of living and global crises continuing to impact on our economic, health and service systems, the government must be more strategic in its response to the needs of our growing multicultural society.

Our submission outlines targeted investments across 16 key areas, with a focus on strengthening the under-resourced and under-valued multicultural sector. At the heart of our submission is the call for a Multicultural Strategy that takes a whole-of-government approach to engaging and supporting multicultural communities.

Summary of Recommendations

Alongside the call for a Multicultural Strategy are recommendations to address the key barriers facing migrant and refugee communities, including:

  • Building a supportive and accessible mental health system for all Victorians
  • Building the capacity of multicultural communities to effectively prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters
  • Funding initiatives to combat racism
  • Supporting the health needs of refugees and improve access to alcohol and other drug services and language services
  • Supporting the right of renters to access safe, secure, and affordable housing, and provide education to renters from migrant and refugee backgrounds
  • Supporting jobseekers from migrant and refugee backgrounds through an overarching Multicultural Employment Strategy
  • Promoting gender equality and support migrant and refugee women to stay safe from family violence
  • Committing to a statewide strategy to prevent and respond to elder abuse

Our recommendations will not only help build resilience and make our multicultural policies and services more equitable, accessible and culturally responsive, but also allow Victorians across the board to thrive for years to come.

Thank you to everyone who shared their experiences and insights as part of our extensive community consultation process.

We hope you will take the time to read our submission, and we encourage you to share it with your networks. With your support, we can ensure the next State Budget makes a meaningful commitment to meeting the needs of our diverse communities.