Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello today launched a new Multicultural NSW Grants Program, with funding of $1.6 million for 2014/15 to support initiatives which promote cultural harmony and social cohesion.
Mr Dominello said the program, comprised of Unity, Celebration, Support and Partnership Grants, had been established after extensive stakeholder consultation on Multicultural NSW’s three year strategic plan, Harmony in Action.
He was joined by Member for Riverstone Kevin Conolly and Multicultural NSW Chair Dr Hari Harinath in making the announcement at the Sikh Temple in Glenwood today.
“I am delighted to announce a $200,000 increase in funding for multicultural community initiatives in NSW. This takes the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government’s total funding to $1.6 million per year, which is an increase of $400,000 over the last three years.
“These grants will support Multicultural NSW to achieve its principal goal – to build and maintain a cohesive and harmonious multicultural society that enriches the lives of all people in NSW.
“Two categories which open today, Unity and Celebration, will seek to balance the equation between the need to celebrate our cultural diversity and the need to promote our common values.
“Funding for unity grants will be targeted towards initiatives which promote our shared beliefs and values by bringing diverse communities together as Australians.
“This means focusing on those aspects of our identity which unite us, including our volunteering ethos, honouring those who have served in defence of our freedoms and understanding our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage.
“It also means supporting activities which combat racism; empower multicultural women and girls; and encourage intercultural engagement between young people through sport,” Mr Dominello said.
The Program comprises:
Unity Grants of up to $30,000 for cross cultural community engagement projects;
Celebration Grants of up to $5,000 for events and festivals that celebrate cultural diversity
Support Grants of up to $10,000 that support individuals and communities to fully participate in community life and build community capacity and;
Partnership Grants of up to $150,000 are available for significant projects that will have a real impact on outcomes for NSW in the long term.
Multicultural NSW Chief Executive Officer Hakan Harman said the Advisory Board had identified five priority areas for grants based on their knowledge and research of issues affecting communities.
“We recognise the many challenges faced by multicultural communities and individuals and have sought to shape our new Grants Program around their needs
“Investment in and support of community projects, activities, celebrations and partnerships enables us to build harmony and celebrate the unique social and economic riches our cultural diversity offers.
“Most importantly it enables us to engage with all sections of society and break down barriers to participation,” Mr Harman said.