Thirteen new projects, including a podcast for international students, a peer led mental health support group for young people from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds in the South East Melbourne, and a series of LGBTIQA+ events based in Wonthaggi, have been funded by over $100,000 awarded in the Round 11 of Healthy Equal Youth (HEY) Grants, administered by Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic).
“As we emerge from COVID-19 lockdowns and disruptions, we recognise the significant impact that the pandemic has had on LGBTIQA+ young people’s mental health. That’s why this round of HEY grants has focused on funding projects which can support LGTBQIA+ young people’s social connection after two years apart,” says Derm Ryan, YACVic’s HEY Program Manager.
The grants were selected by a panel of LGBTIQA+ community members, including young people, and prioritised the intersections and gaps in LGBTIQA+ services. The funded projects support international students, autistic people, and young people in both metro and rural and regional areas in the LGBTQIA+ community.
“We are pleased this year that over 90% of applications received were first time applicants and six of the 13 projects funded are led by LGBTIQA+ young people, for LGBTIQA+ young people. At a time where there is a lot of noise about freedoms and the rights of minority populations being eroded, it’s great that these grants will help to strengthen the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTIQA+ communities throughout Victoria,” said Mr Ryan.
The HEY Grants support LGBTIQA+ young people and community organisations to undertake mental health promotion and community engagement activities which support LGBTIQA+ young people.
The HEY Grants, administered by YACVic in partnership with the Victorian Government, are part of the broader HEY initiative, which brings together 16 key organisations to collaborate and work together on improving mental health and wellbeing outcomes for young LGBTIQA+ Victorians.
“As Victorians begin to reconnect after two years apart, HEY is facilitating LGBTIQA+ young people’s social connection to their peers and communities.”
Media contact: Thomas Feng, YACVic Media and Communications Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
Derm Ryan, YACVic Rural Manager, who manages the HEY initiative, is available as spokesperson for interviews.
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.