Vaccine support for multicultural communities

The State Government is supporting multicultural communities in the south-east to get vaccinated. 264235 Pic: UNSPLASH

The Casey/Cardinia/Dandenong Community Support Group and Komak Community Support Group will each receive $150,000 to support access to vaccinations for South Sudanese and Afghan community members respectively across Greater Dandenong, Casey and Cardinia.

The Le Mana Pasifika Project will also receive $150,000 to support Pasifika communities to access vaccinations in various locations including Casey and Greater Dandenong.

Funding will allow the Community Support Groups to employ bicultural case workers and/or case managers who will work with the local South Sudanese, Afghan and Pasifika communities to resolve hesitancies and barriers to vaccination.

Culturally appropriate communications for young people and their communities will also be initiated through engagement with community and religious leaders, as well as pop-up vaccination hubs as required.

The State Government announced successful funding recipients of the $1.2 million allocated to the Supporting Access to Vaccination for Priority Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities program on Monday 17 January.

This funding will allow staff to work directly with community members and leaders to provide vaccine information and help get community members vaccinated through helping booking an appointment, arranging childcare or transport to vaccination hubs.

Community organisations and neighbourhood houses are also encouraged to apply for up to $20,000 to help vulnerable Victorians overcome barriers to vaccination and tackle vaccine misinformation through the Local Community Access Grants Program.

These initiatives are part of a $21 million package to boost tailored support for Victorians who may face additional barriers to vaccination, including people living with disability, at-risk youth, seniors, culturally diverse and multifaith communities, social housing residents and victim survivors of family violence.

The seven Community Support Groups and the Le Mana Pasifika Project run on a place-based and community-led model. Each is auspiced by an organisation possessing strong and established links to the communities they work with, ensuring tailored operational support is provided.

The Centre for Multicultural Youth is the auspice organisation for the Casey/Cardinia/Dandenong Community Support Group and Le Mana Pasifika Project, while Uniting (Victoria and Tasmania) is the equivalent organisation for the Komak Community Support Group.

Community Support Groups were established by the state government from 2016 to strengthen youth engagement in multicultural communities and to ensure that young people and their families are linked into activities and services in their areas.

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