New youth centre opens

By Ewen McRae

Melton’s South Sudanese community will continue to receive strong support, following the opening of a new office for the Centre for Multicultural Youth last week.

The CMY has helped facilitate a community support group for young local South Sudanese for the past year, and has received continued funding from the state government to help fund the office and its various programs.

The support group aims to build strong futures for South Sudanese young people, fostering a sense of purpose and belonging and breaking down barriers to education, employment and community connection.

They do this through sport and recreational activities, youth mentoring, parenting and family support and youth outreach.

Youth Minister Gabrielle Williams was on hand for the ribbon cutting at the new offices, which were made possible from a $6 million package in the state budget to support young people from African and Pasifika backgrounds.

She said it was a fantastic initiative for the community and one which had shown positive results. “We’re helping South Sudanese Victorians to reach their full potential, with community-led responses that ensure young people can see a pathway to a positive future,” Ms Williams said.

“Homework clubs, sporting programs, help with jobs, managing money, getting housing and staying healthy – sometimes a small intervention can keep a young person on track.”

Local member Steve McGhie said it was important for the local community to continue to provide opportunities for its young people.

“It’s great to see our vibrant local community getting a hand to look after our young people and provide the sort of support that will help them play a positive role,” Mr McGhie said.