ECCV’s 2022 State Election Platform calls on the Victorian Government to learn from the experiences and systemic gaps exposed by the pandemic and ensure that our diverse communities can respond, rebuild and recover equitably.

    Our Platform makes 55 recommendations and outlines priority areas for action, including health and wellbeing, aged care, disability, employment, anti-racism and emergency management.

    At the heart of this Platform is our call for a co-designed Multicultural Strategy that takes a whole-of-government approach to engaging and supporting migrant and refugee communities.

    We call on the Victorian Government to recognise the value and tireless contributions of the underfunded multicultural sector by building long-term sector capacity through a centralised, responsive and equitable funding model. It’s time to put an end to the current mode of fragmented drip-funding.

    The Victorian Government must do more to engage, support and collaborate with multicultural and ethno-specific organisations in the design, coordination and delivery of services.

    These organisations have been at the forefront of providing outreach and information to Victoria’s diverse communities during the public health response to pandemic. While there has been unprecedented community collaboration and support from the Victorian Government during COVID, it is important that the multicultural sector does not become an afterthought again.

    Our platform focuses on measures that will help build a stronger and resilient Victorian community, strengthen social cohesion, inclusion and equality, and improve service delivery and design. Ultimately, our institutions, policies and services should reflect and serve our community.

    Thank you to our members, partners and everyone who has contributed to the development of this platform.

    As we approach November’s Victorian election, we urge all political parties and candidates to work together to implement the priorities set out in our Platform, and to work with us and the multicultural sector in delivering them over the next four years.

    ECCV’s State Election Platform 2022 calls on the Victorian Government to learn from the experiences and systemic gaps exposed by the pandemic and ensure that our diverse communities can respond, rebuild and recover equitably.

    Supporting a stronger multicultural Victoria

    Victoria needs a new Multicultural Strategy that encompasses a whole-of-government approach to engaging and supporting migrant and refugee communities.

    ECCV calls on the Victorian government to recognise the value of the multicultural sector by increasing sector capacity on a longer-term basis, streamlining funding, and embedding multicultural voices in the coordination, design and delivery of services.

    Improved planning and coordination and a new funding framework are key to addressing constraints caused by fragmented and short-term funding and ensuring equitable outcomes.

    KEY ACTIONS
    • Commit $2 million to resource the development and co-design of a new Multicultural Strategy (p.11)
    • Develop a more centralised, responsive and equitable funding model for the multicultural sector to build its capacity to engage in co-design, collaboration and partnerships that address challenges and deliver better policy and service outcomes (p.11)
    • Move the Multicultural Affairs portfolio back to the Department of Premier and Cabinet, to elevate it as a key state priority and help streamline coordination and funding (p.12)
    • Recognise the value and support the development of the bilingual and bicultural workforce through a co-designed framework (p.13)
    • Commit $20 million over four years to enhance support for growing regional multicultural communities (p.13)

    Page numbers refer to the STATE ELECTION PLATFORM

    Building safe, strong and resilient communities

    With migrant and refugee communities continuing to be affected by higher rates of COVID-19 transmission, the Government must act now to integrate multicultural and ethno-specific organisations into service systems to help provide equitable, ongoing access to health and welfare supports and employment services.

    We need increased funding and capacity building programs to provide employment and small businesses support and partnerships, improve access for migrant workers to legal services and provide education on employment rights. It is also critical to continue to support community preparedness and resilience in the face of future emergencies through initiatives such as the Multicultural Emergency Management Partnership.

    KEY ACTIONS
    • Support migrant-owned small business owners to access grants and other assistance measures (p.15)
    • Commit $10 million to addressing barriers to employment through the development of a comprehensive co-designed multicultural employment plan for migrant and refugee communities (p.17)
    • Commit phased funding to help build the capacity of multicultural and ethno-specific organisations to provide ongoing health and welfare supports (p.16)
    • Provide education for employment brokers and connectors about employment law and how to prevent their clients falling prey to exploitative practices (p.19)
    • Support community-led actions to enhance emergency preparedness and resilience, with a dedicated plan to enhance the cultural diversity and knowledge within emergency services workforces, and targeted education and awareness-raising at the grassroots and leadership level (p.21)

    Page numbers refer to the STATE ELECTION PLATFORM

    Strengthening social cohesion, inclusion and equality

    Sustained funding for Victoria’s Anti-Racism Strategy is critical to addressing all forms of racism in our society. The strategy must be informed by ongoing consultations with people with lived experience of racism and supported by an evaluation and measurement framework to review outcomes and priorities on an ongoing basis.

    To ensure that the voices and stories of our communities reflected in the arts, a diversity and inclusion strategy should be developed which promotes leadership opportunities for people from migrant and refugee backgrounds and empowers them to influence what stories are told, and how they are told.

    With women from migrant and refugee backgrounds still facing many barriers to full and equal participation in society, the Victorian Government must support gender equity initiatives to improve their financial security and economic position and provide dedicated resources to address family violence.

    KEY ACTIONS
    • Commit $32 million to the development of Victoria’s Anti-Racism Strategy (p.23)
    • Increase funding for multicultural arts and festivals, and develop a diversity and inclusion strategy that ties funding for arts organisations to diversity targets (p.24)
    • Commit $10 million over two years to promote gender equity initiatives (p.25)
    • Support research about the experiences and needs of unpaid carers from migrant and refugee backgrounds (p.25)
    • Commit $16 million over four years to resource multicultural organisations to provide culturally appropriate responses to family violence (p.26)

    Page numbers refer to the STATE ELECTION PLATFORM

    Improving service delivery and project design

    The Victorian Government must address gaps in service provision to provide equitable, accessible and culturally responsive support for people from migrant and refugee communities across health, aged care, disability, youth services and other key social services.

    Providing culturally appropriate mental health support must be a key part of the current reform of Victoria’s mental health system process. With the COVID-19 pandemic having demonstrated the importance of health literacy and effective provision of health information, it is crucial that the Victorian Government provide further funding for multicultural and ethno-specific organisations to employ bicultural and bilingual workers and provide community-specific health education initiatives.

    We also call on the Victorian Government to promote healthy and positive ageing for older people from migrant and refugee backgrounds, by supporting multicultural and ethno-specific organisations to provide suitable aged care services to their communities, including capacity building for seniors clubs.

    KEY ACTIONS
    • Invest in ongoing mental health and wellbeing support across multicultural communities, including $40 million over four years for the multicultural sector to deliver mental health services, and support people with lived experience to contribute to decision-making (p.28)
    • Increase core funding for the Victorian Disability Advocacy Program to address unmet demands for self-advocacy and improve access, coverage and awareness of disability support services, particularly in rural and regional areas (p.34)
    • Provide additional funding for the Home and Community Care Program for Younger People (HACC PYP) and ensure continuity of services for people not eligible for the NDIS during the transition to the Care Finder model (p.35)
    • Support multicultural and ethno-specific organisations, and new and emerging communities, to establish aged care community infrastructure and programs (p.38) and engage older people in social, civic and leadership opportunities (p.41)
    • Commit $16 million for prevention, early intervention and response to elder abuse against people from migrant and refugee backgrounds (p.39)
    • Support tailored digital literacy training programs and subsidised access to digital devices to assist older people to maintain social connections (p.40)
    • Invest $8 million over four years for new youth work positions in the seven LGAs with the highest concentrations of newly arrived young people (p.43) 

    Page numbers refer to the STATE ELECTION PLATFORM

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