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Money to develop cultural academy

A program addressing negative contact between Aboriginal children and young people and the justice system will receive State Government assistance. 

Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Co-operative will develop the Gulgurn Manja Gariwerd Academy Program – a culturally informed enhancement program in the Wimmera, that will aim to address proportionally higher contact between Aboriginal youth and the justice system.

The funding, worth $300,000, is among a $4.6-million Building Safer Communities grants program that supports locally-driven projects to improve community safety and address the causes of crime.

The Creating Safer Places and Crime Prevention Innovation Fund grants provide up to $300,000 to councils, not-for-profit community organisations and other specialist organisations across Victoria to support local solutions to local problems.

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Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford said the funding would address prevention measures for Aboriginal youth in the Wimmera. 

“We know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children often face challenges that can lead to contact with the justice system,” she said. 

“The grant to support the development of the Gulgurn Manja Gariwerd Academy Program will assist the Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Co-operative in improving the wellbeing of children and youth at-risk to help them thrive.

“By investing in local solutions to local problems we know the community is going to directly benefit and have safer places to call home.” 

The Building Safer Communities Program provides grants and community forums and is a cornerstone of the government’s crime prevention strategy, which sets out a long-term approach to addressing the root causes of crime and building safer communities.

The Creating Safer Places funds projects with councils, which help prevent crime by creating inclusive environments and activating public places. This can include lighting upgrades and security installation, such as CCTV.

A Crime Prevention Innovation Fund supports councils and community organisations to deliver and evaluate innovative community safety and crime prevention initiatives.

The government has invested more than $90-millioin in crime prevention programs since 2015 and supported more than 860 projects to increase safety and community confidence in public places.