Programs currently funded under the Strengthening Communities Activity, including Multicultural Affairs grants, will be replaced by three new grants programs as part of the Strong and Resilient Communities grants from 1 January 2018. Strong and Resilient Communities grants will comprise of three new grants programs and will continue to support organisations working in culturally diverse communities to build social cohesion.
The Multicultural Affairs grants are a component of the Department of Social Services’ Families and Communities Programme. The Multicultural Affairs grants consist of Diversity and Social Cohesion grants with funding over multiple years and the annual Multicultural Arts and Festivals grants.
The grants aim to build socially cohesive Australian communities. They do so by supporting projects that build the long-term capacities of higher need and at-risk communities, particularly through the promotion of stronger community relations and the development of sustainable community partnerships.
Higher need communities include communities with high levels of cultural diversity and low levels of social cohesion. At-risk communities include communities at risk of negative outcomes, such as those experiencing high levels of unemployment, low education outcomes and low English language proficiency.
The grants are a major component of the Government's approach to cultural diversity. The key objectives are:
- the importance of all Australians respecting one another regardless of cultural, racial or religious differences
- the fair treatment of all Australians, encouraging people to recognise that our interactions should be accepting of, and responsive to, each other’s backgrounds, circumstances, needs and preferences
- opportunities for people to participate equitably in Australian society and to understand the rights and responsibilities that we share as part of that society
- a sense of belonging for everyone by helping communities work towards a spirit of inclusiveness and a shared identity as Australians
- the benefits of living in a culturally diverse society
- to build the capacity of specific communities who are under significant pressure because of their culture or religion.
What we do
The Multicultural Affairs grant program has two key elements.