Posted on 13. Nov, 2010 in Election Media Release, Victoria

Victorians from diverse backgrounds will receive support to help preserve their culture and languages and improved access to government services in a $19.2 million package under a future Labor Government.

Mr Brumby said the centrepiece of the package was greater investment in subsidising community language schools to help preserve languages amongst the next generation of Victorians.

“We come from more than 200 nations, speak over 200 languages and follow more than 120 faiths – Victoria is one of the great multicultural societies,” Mr Brumby said.

“Our rich cultural diversity is one of Victoria’s greatest strengths and most defining features and Labor believes it delivers social, cultural and economic benefits to all Victorians.

“Successive waves of immigrants and refugees have enriched our State and underpinned our economic development.”

“We believe the proceeds of our strong financial management should be invested in supporting and celebrating our great multicultural society. Labor is determined to meet the challenge of providing opportunities for our growing and diverse population.”

Mr Brumby said a future Labor Government would invest:

  • $8.8 million in additional funding for community language schools.  This will see an increase in the subsidy for students from $120 per student to $200 per student over the course of the next four years;
  • $4 million so more people will be able access key government services through increased access to interpreting and translating services, particularly for new and emerging languages;
  • $4 million to provide more help for culturally and linguistically diverse families living with dementia;
  • $1 million in grants to assist ethnic media organisations to upgrade facilities, technology and other equipment;
  • $1 million in grants to establish permanent recognition of key cultural groups that have helped shape Victoria over its history;
  • $400,000 in organisational support for the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria (ECCV), the peak representative body of ethno-specific and multicultural groups in Victoria; and
  • Further strengthening the structure of the Immigration Museum through the establishment of a Multicultural Advisory Committee.


Minister Assisting the Premier on Multicultural Affairs James Merlino said Labor would invest in Victoria’s network of over 200 community language schools catering for more than 34,000 students.

“Learning a language helps people to stay connected to their culture and heritage or to learn more about another culture,” Mr Merlino said.

“Labor will also invest an additional $1 million in grants to ethnic and multicultural media.  Victoria has over 28 community radio stations broadcasting in over 100 languages, delivering critical information for both emerging and established communities.”

“The Labor Government in Victoria has a proud record of support for our great multicultural society which include the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act, the Multicultural Victoria Act, the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act , the amended the Sentencing Act and the development of the All of Us policy.” 

“Labor’s $1 million in heritage grants will go toward permanent exhibitions recognising Victoria’s long-standing communities, such as the Chinese, Greek, Italian, Vietnamese and Dutch communities.

Mr Brumby said today’s announcement builds on Labor’s ongoing support for Victoria’s multicultural communities including:

  • Providing over $50 million for Languages Other Than English (LOTE) programs in primary and secondary schools;
  • Delivering $12 million in improvements to significant cultural precincts and establishing community infrastructure across Victoria such as the Greek precinct in Oakleigh and the Little Saigon Arch in Richmond;
  • Providing English as a Second Language (ESL) program in 503 schools; and
  • A seven fold increase in funding through the VMC Community Grants Program since 1999, with $5.6 million now provided to ethnic and multicultural community organisations in Victoria.

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