Cultural funds set to assist the community

A STATE government grant will go a long way in assisting Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services deliver to the community. 

Multicultural Affairs Minister Nicholas Kotsiras announced the organisation would receive $150,000 over two years as part of the Peak Multicultural Organisation's Grants Program. 

LCMS general manager Noemi Cumming said the organisation had been struggling financially and described the funding as a "lifeline". 

She said the grant would be used to improve the everyday operations of the organisation and enhance its programs. 

"We have a very old (information technology) system so we are going to upgrade our software and server," she said. 

"We are also going to deliver more programs and use our facilities more effectively.

"We will increase the hours of our staff and we are also aiming towards the future so we will complete our strategic planning because that is something we need professional assistance for." 

Ms Cumming said it was comforting knowing the funding would be delivered over a two-year period. 

"One of things we have a problem with in this organisation is the lack of continuity," she said. 

"We have a program (which goes for) one year and you don't know if you are doing it the next year, so you cannot plan your staff or (anything else).

"Having the two-year commitment is a great feeling."

Mr Kotsiras said the funding would boost community services in the area. 

"The (state government) recognises (LCMS's) essential work throughout the local area supporting residents from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to build meaningful social networks and participate actively within their local communities," he said. 

"(It) acknowledges the enormous contribution migrants and refugees have made to regional Victoria and the important role peak multicultural organisations have played in assisting them to settle and participate fully in society."

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