About 12 young Aboriginal women are set to benefit from Victorian Government funding after Youth Affairs Minister Jenny Mikakos announced an investment into the Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative.
The $120000 cash injection will see the local Aboriginal women, aged between 15 and 25, take part in a mentoring program over the next 12 months which aims to support young mothers.
‘‘It will support women in decisions on financial education, healthy lifestyle choices, employment opportunities and housing problems,’’ Ms Mikakos said.
‘‘This is about giving young Aboriginal women the tools they need to build networks, set themselves up for the future and reach their full potential.’’
Rumbalara chief executive Kim Sedick thanked Ms Mikakos and said in recent years he had started to see clear evidence the government was using a proactive approach to issues faced by Aboriginal people.
Mr Sedick said the funding would be used to develop its Rumbalara Youth Mentoring Service as part of the directorate of Empowered Women, Children and Families.
‘‘Rumbalara is establishing a directorate of Empowered Women, Children and Families which will proactively support women to make strong, responsible and safe decisions for themselves, their children and their families,’’ he said.
Mr Sedick said the program would do so by encouraging the appropriate help-seeking behaviour and reducing the sense of isolation, helplessness and hopelessness.
The funding comes as part of the government’s Aboriginal Youth Mentoring Program, which will support another four Aboriginal organisations.
‘‘The Aboriginal Youth Mentoring Program is empowering Aboriginal communities to achieve self-determination with support to make decisions about their finances, lifestyle and employment,’’ Ms Mikakos said.
‘‘I look forward to hearing about the positive impacts this program will have.’’