The Andrews Labor Government has allocated $1.3 million in grants to 346 multicultural organizations aimed at promoting cross-cultural understanding, community connection, and social cohesion during Victoria’s multicultural festivals and events.
Colin Brooks, Victoria’s Minister for Multicultural Affairs, announced the grants, highlighting their purpose of facilitating events that celebrate and showcase the diverse cultures and communities of Victoria. The Labor Government’s flagship Multicultural Festivals and Events program is providing grants of up to $50,000 to organizations in both metropolitan and regional areas for events scheduled between July 1 and December 31.
Priority was given to applications from new and emerging communities, resulting in over 65 percent of the total funding being allocated to organizations supporting these communities. Notable grant recipients include the Melbourne Bengali Association, hosting the Multicultural Spring Festival, the Benalla Migrants Association’s Diwali Festival, and the Afghan Women’s Organisation Victoria, supporting the Afghan Women’s Eid Festival. Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services also received grants to assist the Zinda Multicultural Festival in Bendigo, which celebrates the growing diversity in regional Victoria. First launched in 2018, this event attracts large crowds with its vibrant showcase of music, food, art, and culture, fostering community connections in the greater Bendigo area.
The Victorian Budget 2023/24 has additionally invested $12 million over the past four years in more than 25 multicultural festivals and events, such as the African Music and Cultural Festival, Melbourne Italian Festa, Lonsdale Greek Festival, Polish Festival, Hispanic Latin American Festival, Tamil Festival, and Springvale Lunar New Year.
Minister Colin Brooks emphasizes Victoria’s excellence in multiculturalism, stating, “No-one does multiculturalism as well as Victoria, and these wonderful events and festivals help us to celebrate the different cultures and communities that are thriving all over our vibrant state.” He further highlights the significance of the Multicultural Festivals and Events grants program in supporting the diverse communities of the state, expressing gratitude for the positive impact these shared cultural celebrations have on community members.
The media release also reveals that since November 2014, the Labor Government has provided over $25 million to facilitate nearly 10,000 multicultural festivals and events throughout Victoria.