The Victorian African Communities Action Plan (VACAP) was launched in April 2018 and it proposes proposed over 250 actions across six focus areas – business, employment, education and training, health and wellbeing, inclusion and empowerment, and leadership, connection and cohesion. It designed to bring the government, the diverse African communities, the service providers and private sector together to help strengthen African communities and enable them to reach their full potential in a multicultural Victoria.
We have created this page to list the most important developments of the VACAP plan, from the earliest events and ideas that birthed it to the latest updates, both from the government and communities’ perspectives.
Latest development : Victorian government announcement on 30 July 2018
The government announced the establishment of three new Community Support groups to help young people be their best. A budget of $5.5 million was allocated to enable the delivery of these support groups which aim to boost community engagement, resilience and helping young people to link to appropriate services. The government wants to focus on connecting young people and their families to existing and new activities to improve their health and wellbeing, education, training and employment outcomes, as well as community participation.
The three new groups will be set up in Melbourne’s West (Wyndham and Melton/Brimbank) and South-East (Dandenong) and and will focus on South Sudanese communities.
The Centre for Multicultural Youth will manage two groups, in Dandenong and in Melton/Brimbank and Wyndham Community and Education Centre has been appointed the auspice of the third CSG, which will be located in Wyndham. Each group has been funded to support its establishment and operation, including employing staff to work with young South Sudanese people and families and provide them with culturally-sensitive support.
Funding will also support the engagement of youth outreach workers, alcohol and drug support workers, parenting programs, youth mentoring, family support and sports and recreation activities. A Local Reference Group, established by the auspice organisation and comprised of community members including young people, local and state government representatives, will guide each location’s operations and activities.
Each of the new locations was selected in response to consultation through the Victorian African Communities Action Plan, developed by and for African communities in partnership with the Labor Government.
13 July 2018
The Victorian Government has promised so far to spend $8.6 million in the Victorian Budget 2018/19 to directly respond to the Action Plan for the next two years.
Priority response areas include $3 million allocated for immediate action to supporting three of the six priority areas, including jobs, education and health. $1 million for employment, $1.5 for youth education and increased support for homework clubs and school‑community liaison officers, and $500,000 for drug and alcohol misuse.
$5.6 million will assist the design, development and delivery of actions across the six focus areas of the Action Plan, including (1) business, (2) employment, (3) Education & training, (4)health & wellbeing, (5) Inclusion & empowerment and (6) leadership, cohesion &connection
A new implementation committee comprised of community members will oversee the delivery of actions, advise government, support work to monitor and evaluate progress on the Action Plan and build an evidence base.
The full government response to the launch of the plan includes is accessible here :
VACAP was officially released by the Victorian Government on Saturday 21 April, 2018.
VACAP is a 10 year plan, the first of its kind in the history of African communities in Victoria. It was developed by and for African communities in partnership with the Victorian Government to address well-known issues and to improve the wellbeing of all Victorians of African heritage, including young people.
The plan aims to strengthen African communities, improve policy outcomes and create opportunities for members of these communities through more than 250 actions across the six focus areas. The plan recommends a partnership approach and seeks to enable African to contribute their expertise, experience and knowledge to own, lead and be part of the solutions to solve some of the challenges that they face in their settlement and integration journey in Victoria.
Under this approach, the help of local government, business, industry, the civil sector, academia and the philanthropic sector will assist in achieving sustainable outcomes.
2017: consultation process for the Action Plan
Development of the Action Plan was led by the African Ministerial Working Group. This group was made of 22 members of African communities selected by the minister’s office. There was no clear criteria for the selection of the members of this group. The minister’s office did not consult the community on this selection but the representatives came from most of the large community groups within the broader Victorian African community.
Besides the ministerial working group, submissions were received from many organisations, individuals and community groups from November to December 2017.
2016: publication of the issues paper
In 2016 a group fo African community leaders, activists and community advocates drafted a document highlighting a number of challenging that were common to most African communities in Victoria. They called the document the Issues Paper and they presented it to the Minister of Multicultural Affairs. The group was part of a platform called African Community Leadership Forum Following the discussions between this group and the minister’s office, the proposed document was later adopted and formed the basis upon which the VACAP was developed.