Our strong partnership with the Victorian Government
Katie Hall joined us to help us celebrate our long and thriving relationship with the Victorian Government that allows us to provide so much support to at-risk and disadvantaged young people. This partnership includes contributions from a range of Government departments to our Inside Out, Hand Brake Turn, and Chaplaincy programs.
Most recently the Working for Victoria initiative created seven crucial jobs across Concern Australia that are strengthening the support we provide to children and young people, and we will soon appoint two new Job Advocates also supported by Working for Victoria.
The impact of the pandemic on our community has been immense, and young people have taken the brunt of it. In Victoria, 88,000 young people are out of work, and 90% of jobs lost are for people under 25. The end of the Federal Jobkeeper initiative will have a further impact. And the scaling back of JobSeeker means that unemployment benefits are now back below both key measurements of poverty.
The jobs created by the Working for Victoria initiative at Concern Australia will directly contribute to supporting young people impacted by the pandemic, helping them to develop life and vocational skills, and supporting them to transition into employment. It will make a direct difference, and we are very grateful.
These are young people such as Kacey, who courageously shared some of her story with us at the event.
Kacey grew up in the Child Protection system, living in residential care for much of her life. When she was 16, she got the opportunity to live in one of our Inside Out homes with a volunteer live-in mentor, and supported by our case workers and youth workers. Last year Kacey fell pregnant. Our team rallied around her, and were able to secure State Government funding to get Kacey her own place before her beautiful son was born in December.
Kacey is now living independently, studying, and working towards a future in which she can work part-time from home while being a mum.
“If it wasn’t for Concern Australia, I wouldn’t have a home to raise my son in,” she said.
Kacey made a point of thanking Concern Australia team members Andrew Johnstone, Luti Tapeli, Rebecca Taggart and Emmah Williams for their ongoing support.
We also heard from one of our new staff members, Thanh Nguyen, who has joined the Inside Out team. You can find out more about Thanh’s story, what motivates his passion for supporting young people, and why he is so grateful for Working for Victoria in this story.