The Morrison and Andrews Governments will each provide $2.6 million to support Mildura children and families to connect with local services and improve their health and wellbeing outcomes.
Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said Hands Up Mallee would receive the funding to help at-risk families as well as the wider community.
“Hands Up Mallee brings local leaders and the community together to address social issues facing Mildura families,” Minister Ruston said.
“This targeted investment will ensure families are equipped to fully participate in the community.”
Member for Mallee Anne Webster welcomed the funding and said the Mildura community would benefit from investment to the social impact initiative.
“The funding will assist Hands Up Mallee to strengthen community safety, wellbeing and outcomes and provide more resources for local families,” Anne Webster said.
“In my previous life working with vulnerable young families, I have worked with the Hands Up Mallee team and know their commitment to respond to community issues.
“They are highly consultative and from this basis they develop programs to improve practical outcomes for children and young people.”
The Victorian Minister for Employment Jaala Pulford said that the Victorian Government’s investment in Hands Up Mallee shows how community-led initiatives are able to empower local communities.
“We know that a one size fits all approach does not work for everyone and we’re working with the Mildura community to support Hands Up Mallee, to use local knowledge to create better responses to people’s needs.”
“This investment will continue to support Mildura families and children, including local coordination of support for those that are struggling with the effects of the pandemic.”
The Victorian Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp said that the Government was working with local schools, businesses and community services to provide the support they need.
“This investment is supporting the creation of programs such as Home Base, a youth-led out of hours space where young people can connect, feel safe and learn new life skills.”
Executive Officer of the Northern Mallee Community Partnership, Jane McCracken said Hands Up Mallee has been doing things differently for a number of years.
"Listening to community, facilitating collaboration and working to align partners for impact. This investment from governments is evidence of the fantastic work that has happened to date,” Ms McCracken said.
Member of the Community Leaders table for Hands Up Mallee, Nikita Hart said Hands Up Mallee are different because they take the time to listen to community.
“They do the groundwork to make change happen. I am involved because they share the same aspiration as I do for my community and my people,” Ms Hart said.
Mildura Rural City Council Mayor Jason Modica said Hands Up Mallee was a refreshing force for positive social change.
“The work Hands Up Mallee does makes a real impact. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with them to improve the health and wellbeing of our community,” Cr Modica said.
The partnership is being provided under the Morrison Government’s Stronger Places, Stronger People initiative.
The Morrison and the Andrews Governments will each provide $2.625 million in support over five years to the project.
Further information on the Stronger Places, Stronger People initiative can be found on the Department of Social Service’s website.