The 2023-24 State Budget, released in a challenging economic environment, provides relief that young Victorians experiencing disadvantage and marginalisation now will not also wear the costs of COVID debt in the long term.

“Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) welcomes the government’s recognition of the long-term benefit of supporting young people with continued investment in many critical youth services,” says YACVic CEO Katherine Ellis.

YACVic is particularly pleased to see the continuation of services provided by YACVic Rural, the Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY) and the Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS).

YACVic also applauds the continuation of funding for disability advocacy, including the Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS). “As Victoria’s only human rights service for disabled young people, we are reassured the government values the importance of YDAS’ service and the meaningful outcomes it provides,” says Ms Ellis.

We welcome the investment in homelessness services and programs, and the targeted support for young people leaving residential care. We hope to work with the government further to address relief and protections for renters and better social housing in the ongoing rental crisis.

“YACVic will continue to seek better housing and homelessness protections for young Victorians, including a Youth Homelessness Strategy,” says Ms Ellis.

YACVic welcomes the unprecedented investments that put Aboriginal matters in Aboriginal hands. The government will invest in Aboriginal-led reforms to child protection and family services that will reduce the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in these systems.

YACVic is also particularly pleased to see that the Koorie Youth Council’s exemplary Aboriginal youth mentoring program Marram Nganyin has been refunded for four more years.

Announcements including $200 million to support the transition out of native forest logging by 1 January 2024, and recovery funding for flood-affected communities, are notable for climate change and disaster resilience.

“YACVic Rural has played a critical role in putting young people at the centre of disaster resilience efforts in Victoria, and we hope to continue collaborating with government in this next phase of flood recovery,” says Ms Ellis.

Amongst continued investment in mental health system reform, YACVic welcomes the first step to reorient responses to people experiencing crisis from being police-led to being health-led; youth justice mental health in rural areas; and improved access to Mental health care after a crisis.acute care.

YACVic is pleased to see the government’s $64 million investment in endometriosis treatment, $10 million for sexual and reproductive health clinics, and a dedicated Aboriginal-led women’s clinic, turning the tide for traditionally overlooked areas of sexual and reproductive health.

The government is improving education for young people by expanding eligibility for free TAFE to all Victorians, Workers who help disabled high school students transition to TAFE..TAFE Disability Transition Officers and Workers who help families, carers and schools access disability support services.NDIS Navigators for special schools, continuing the Schools Mental Health Fund, and renewing targeted support for African and Pasifika young people at risk of school disengagement. This budget also addresses period poverty with free menstrual hygiene products in government schools.

Notably, the costs of COVID debts will be paid for by big businesses, higher-income earners and investors.

“Young people have already sacrificed so much due to the pandemic, and have been bracing to shoulder the long-term burden of COVID spending,” says YACVic CEO Katherine Ellis.

“We’re hopeful that this approach to COVID debts, coupled with the maintenance of critical youth services, will prevent the pandemic from shadowing the rest of their lives, and be a gateway to a better life trajectory.

“YACVic looks forward to continued collaboration with the government to support positive change for young people across our state.

“In particular, we look forward to seeing more investment in the Victorian Youth Strategy commitments to early intervention and prevention to reduce pressure on an overburdened support system, with the input of young people along the way.”

YACVic’s full state budget analysis covering a range of matters impacting young people will be available on Thursday 25 May 2023.

Media contact: Katia Pellicciotta (she/her), YACVic Media and Communications Coordinator on 0498 730 553 or

About Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic)

Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) is the peak body and leading advocate for young people aged 12–25 and youth workers in Victoria. Our vision is that the rights of young people in Victoria are respected, and they are active, visible and valued in their communities.