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New grants open for Indigenous infrastructure in Victoria

Dechlan Brennan -

The Victorian Government has announced a new round of funding for infrastructure in Aboriginal Communities, with $11 million invested through the seventh round of the Aboriginal Community Infrastructure Program.

Minister for Treaty and First Peoples, Natalie Hutchins visited the Western Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations Collective on Tuesday to announce new funding grants of up to $1.6 million to help support Aboriginal organisations in building new functional and accessible infrastructure, or repairing or amending existing facilities.

The Victorian Government says the latest round of grants ensures Aboriginal communities can continue to deliver the services needed as well as supporting self-determination.

"The best outcomes are achieved when Aboriginal people drive the decisions about their own lives, communities and futures," the government said in a statement.

Minister Hutchins, who was a significant driver behind the creation of the First Peoples' Assembly and Treaty negotiations, said the program "supported Aboriginal organisations to upgrade and expand their facilities so they can deliver the essential services their communities need".

The program has seen more than $39 million delivered to Aboriginal organisations since 2018, helping to create "fit-for-purpose" facilities that help enhance "culturally responsive services to improve the lives of Aboriginal Victorians."

Some of the previous grants have gone to Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative in Geelong for the development of their Healing Spirit Youth Hub, a place for children and young people to access emotional wellbeing services; the Yitjawudik Men's Recovery Centre in Hume for Indigenous men to access alcohol and other drug services; and the Koorie Heritage Trust, which saw an expansion of the First Peoples arts and cultural centre at Fed Square.

Applications are open until 2pm, Monday 22 April, 2024.

Guidelines and application can be found on the Aboriginal Community Infrastructure Program website.

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