Aboriginal Youth Mentoring Program To Keep Young People Connected

A new Aboriginal Youth Mentoring Program will help young Aboriginal people develop skills, relationships and networks that keep them connected to their culture, families and friends, with funding of $875,000 to be provided by the Andrews Labor Government in the 2016-17 Victorian Budget.

Speaking today at the Koorie Youth Summit, Minister for Youth Affairs, Jenny Mikakos said Aboriginal leaders and Aboriginal-controlled organisations will be involved in developing and delivering a program that meets the specific needs of young Aboriginal people in their communities.

This could include developing their essential life skills, connecting them with education and training and helping them to reach their life goals.

Funding will also go to the Koorie Youth Council and the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria to provide their expertise, resources, training and support to this initiative.

Ms Mikakos thanked the Koorie Youth Council for its work highlighting elements of successful mentoring programs to create positive life change – bringing together education, traditional knowledge sharing, healing and community engagement.

By promoting deeper connections with culture, heritage and community in Aboriginal young people, this program aligns with Roadmap for Reform, a significant overhaul of the child protection system.

The Roadmap forms part of the Government’s initial response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, and was announced earlier this month.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Youth Affairs Jenny Mikakos

“Growing up can be tough – mentoring helps young Aboriginal Victorians  remain connected to family, friends, school and teachers so they can remain on track to gain skills, find jobs and reach life goals.”

“When Aboriginal Victorians are strongly connected to their culture we know they have better life outcomes.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins

“These young people are the voices of tomorrow. This is about self-determination for Aboriginal people and strengthening the many young Aboriginal voices in Victoria and turning those voices into future community leaders.”