Social Cohesion

A VCOSS guide to what’s being funded, what’s missing out and where the 2019 budget might take Victoria.

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Victoria is one of the world’s great multicultural societies.

More than 43 per cent of Victorians were either born overseas or have at least one parent born overseas. Victoria has people from more than 200 countries, speaking more than 230 languages and dialects.

Building on its commitment to foster an inclusive, engaged and harmonious multicultural society in Victoria, the State Government has invested in culturally and linguistically diverse communities, as well as the LBGTI community and other diverse parts of the wider community.


Positive initiatives

Support for asylum seekers

Much-needed funding has been provided to support asylum seekers living in Victoria, following cuts to the Commonwealth Status Resolution Support Services program. Support will include health and trauma counselling, material aid, health assistance and subsidised mediation, housing assistance and case coordination.
Cost: $3 in 2019-20


Family violence support for people with a disability and people from the LGBTI community*

Funding has been provided to strengthen family violence services for people with a disability. In addition, the Rainbow Tick accreditation scheme will continue to be rolled out across all family violence services to provide additional support to LBGTI victim survivors.
Cost: $0.9m in 2019-20 ($5.8m/4 years)


Multicultural organisations and events

Grants will continue to be available for Victoria’s multicultural communities for a range of infrastructure upgrades, capacity building and inclusion activities, operational costs, festivals and events and media equipment upgrades.
Cost: $17m in 2019-20 ($19.1m/4 years)


Multicultural policy development

This funding has been allocated for the delivery of the Government’s Anti-Racism Action Plan, which aims to improve social cohesion and reduce racism, discrimination and social division.
Cost: $3m in 2019-20


Community Language Schools*

Additional funding has been provided for up to 3,000 students to learn or maintain their heritage language. This will help to meet growing demand, facilitate professional development for teachers, and expand access. It includes a grant to support the establishment of a new Hindi Language School.
Cost: $1.6m in 2019-20 ($7.5m/4 years)


Multicultural aged care*

Funding will be provided to purchase land for three new multicultural aged care facilities, and to upgrade facilities at seven existing multicultural aged care providers.
Cost: $5.4m in 2019-20


Celebrating Victoria’s LGBTI communities

Additional funding has been provided to expand the Pride Festivals and Events Fund to support regional-based events. Funding has also been provided to develop Melbourne Pride 2021, a street festival that will celebrate 40 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Victoria.
Cost: $0.5m in 2019-20 ($1.4m/4 years)


Supporting Victoria’s LGBTI communities

Additional funding has been provided for LGBTI mental health and homelessness support services. This includes a grants program for homelessness service providers to ensure young LGBTI Victorians can access safe and inclusive services. It also includes family counselling services and services for victims of conversion therapy.
Cost: $4.4m in 2019-20 ($6.3m/4 years)



This funding will support the continuation of the Equality branch and portfolio of the Department of Premier and Cabinet and the Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality, both of which work to support LGBTI people and remove discrimination.
Cost: $0.8m in 2019-20 ($3.2m/4 years)


Supporting African and Pasifika young people*

Funding is provided to support young people from African and Pasifika backgrounds at risk of disengagement. It will also support improved community safety outcomes by building protective factors that prevent young people being drawn to various forms of anti-social behaviour.
Cost: $6m in 2019-20



Further strategies

A number of further strategies that were not included in the 2019/20 budget could bring significant benefits for all Victorians. VCOSS will be advocating for these initiatives over the coming year, in the lead-up to the 2020/21 Victorian Budget.


Multi-lingual community services workforce

To improve access to services for people from diverse language backgrounds, the Government can promote and provide traineeships and scholarships for people with English as a second language to work in community services.


Culturally appropriate practice and language services

The Government can improve access to services for people from diverse backgrounds by providing culturally safe and trauma-informed services and information in community languages including Auslan, and increasing interpreter and translation services.



To meet the needs of an ageing population, the Government can develop and implement a future-focussed state-wide ageing strategy. The Government can also deliver an integrated strategy to address elder abuse.


* Indicates the initiative is also included under other policy areas.

More VCOSS analysis
Read the VCOSS media release
Watch the VCOSS Treasurer's Breakfast
Real Spending Changes Table