Significant boost for young Victorians affected by COVID-19

MEDIA STATEMENT

Young people have sacrificed so much for the broader community during COVID-19. This investment by the Victorian Government will provide much-needed support for young people and youth organisations to design, lead and participate in COVID-19 recovery.

–Katherine Ellis, YACVic CEO

Every young person should be connected to their community, and have opportunities to lead and co-design initiatives by young people, for young people.

Today’s announcement by the Victorian Government and Minister for Youth Hon. Ros Spence MP of $15 million over three years for the Engage! Program and $10.2 million for creative youth-led events through FReeZA is a significant investment and boost for young people and youth programs.

“Young people have sacrificed so much for the broader community during COVID-19. This investment by the Victorian Government will provide much-needed support for young people and youth organisations to design, lead and participate in COVID-19 recovery,” says Katherine Ellis, CEO of YACVic.

“Many communities rely on programs like Engage! and FReeZA to fund local youth services, particularly in rural and regional Victoria. As a prelude to the upcoming Victorian Youth Strategy, this funding boost shows a real commitment to improving the lives and outcomes for young people in Victoria.”

Kate Duncan, CEO of youth music organisation The Push, says this funding will “ensure FReeZA events and programs can meet the contemporary needs of young people and the creative arts industries”.

“Young people in the creative industries have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. This significant announcement will provide major support and a morale boost to the next generation of young creatives and music-makers in the live music capital of Australia.

“Alongside the Victorian Government’s new Creative State Strategy and Youth Strategy, this was an important time to invest and evolve FReeZA and ensure a future program model can remain relevant and sustainable.”

Engage! grants are available for organisations to co-design and deliver a broad range of activities with young people including mentoring, building life skills and showcasing creativity and talents.

FReeZA grants support the delivery of youth-friendly live events across the state in environments that are drug, alcohol and smoke-free.

To find out more and apply, visit youthcentral.vic.gov.au/get-involved/youth-programs-and-events.

Applications close Friday, 29 October.

Learn more about the #EvolveFReeZA campaign here

Media Contacts:

Young musicians are available for interviews. Katherine Ellis, YACVic CEO and Kate Duncan, The Push CEO is also available for interviews. For media enquiries you can contact Thomas Feng, YACVic Media and Communications Manager on 0431 285 275.

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 the youth sector in Victoria. Established in 1960, YACVic advocates for the rights of young people in Victoria to ensure they are active, visible and valued in their communities.

About The Push

The Push is an Australian youth music organisation based in Melbourne.  At the forefront of emerging trends, The Push delivers a range of programs that are responsive to Australia’s future music industry leaders, artists and audiences.

For over three decades, The Push has engaged more than 700,000 young people. Program alumni include Courtney Barnett, Alex Lahey, Alice Ivy and Angie McMahon — who have each progressed onto successful, global careers.