New plan to build and support Victoria’s African communities
A new community-led Action Plan promises to strengthen communities and improve educational and employment outcomes for Victorians of African heritage.
Launched by the State Government last week, the Victorian African Community Action plan (VACAP) is aimed at supporting African Victorian African to reach their full potential across all aspects of their Australian life experiences.
Devised by the Victorian Government and the African Ministerial Working Group (AMWG) the plan proposes 250 actions across the six focus areas of business, employment, education and training, health and wellbeing, inclusion and empowerment and leadership, cohesion and connection.
It aims to grow African business activity by promoting African Victorian innovation, enterprise and investment across the economy.
The 10-year plan sets out to strengthen skills pathways to gain meaningful jobs in all sectors and build stronger learning foundations and skills for life.
It will attempt to lift the social, emotional and physical wellbeing of all people and “support people to be equal, treated fairly and with respect”.
And it will “contribute to a strong Victoria through effective leadership, cohesive communities and stronger connections across the broader society”.
The plan was launched at Victoria University by Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott.
Minister Scott and Victorian Multicultural Commission Chairperson Helen Kapalos together with leaders from African communities signed a “Working Together Statement”.
“The statement incorporates the Victorian Values Statement of the Multicultural Policy Statement and symbolises a shared vision and partnership approach to implementation of the Action Plan,” Minister Scott said.
The signed plan is the first of its kind in the history of the broader African Australian community. It was developed by a group of a dozen members of the African-Australian Ministerial Working Group (AMWG) who worked in partnership with the Victorian Government partly to address issues that have recently attracted negative publicity.
The Action Plan proposes to implement these actions using a partnership approach, ensuring communities can contribute their expertise, experience and knowledge to own, lead and be part of solutions. It is expected that under this approach, the help of local government, business, industry, the civil sector, academia and the philanthropic sector will assist in achieving sustainable outcomes.
The Victorian government is expected to respond to the plan following the release of the State budget 2018-19.
The plan, which has been translated in five African languages, is available electronically at: https://www.multicultural.vic.gov.au/images/2017/Draft-African-Communities-Action-Plan—Draft-for-Consultation—LG.pdf
AMES Australia Senior Journalist