The Ballarat African Association has received $50,000 under the Victorian Government’s Stronger Regional Communities Program.

Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle and Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison today announced funding for the project which will deliver a series of 10 workshops that the African community has identified as assisting with re-branding the African-Australian identity.

This project to is one of over 20 successful initiatives to be announced as part of this year’s program, designed to support community-led projects that make regional Victoria a better place to live, work and visit.

Dr Michael Akindeju, President of the Ballarat African Association said “This funding will be used for the delivery of 10 holistic human capital development workshops aimed at improving the branding and self-identity of African Australians in Ballarat. We know that this will result in greater economic participation from our membership.”

“Poor self-identity and self-identification have become a major social challenge for people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities across Australia and in all sectors,” he continued.

“This challenge is particularly intensified for people of African heritage and more-so in Ballarat with only 30% of people self-identifying as having African heritage.”

“The foundations of this challenge are identified to be poor branding arising from age-old stigma, stereotypes and overriding low self-esteem. This series of workshops are set to speak to those foundational issues with a view to generating enhanced self-esteem that can be sustained regardless of the external societal factors. This will in-turn enable African Australians to be comfortable embracing both cultures.”

The current round of the program provides grants up to $50,000 and was advertised at the beginning of the year through a competitive-based process to ensure the best projects received support.

The fund is part of the Victorian Government’s flagship Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund, a key aspect of the Government’s record $2.6 billion Delivering for Regional and Rural Victoria Program unveiled in last year’s State Budget.

The investment is delivering quality education, health, transport and record jobs – which have never been more important than right now as Victorians navigate the consequences of coronavirus.

Information and guidelines for the Stronger Regional Communities Program are available at

Quotes attributable to Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle

“The Victorian Government is committed to making sure Victoria’s regional communities share in Victoria’s success – investing in infrastructure and services to create jobs and make our regional areas even better places to live, work, invest and visit.”

 “Our investments mean more jobs in rural and regional communities and that means more people can enjoy the unique lifestyle our region offers.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison

We are making sure our region has the resources it needs to move through the current challenges, and into the future. These investments in our community help attract new residents to our city and support our existing businesses.”

“Partnerships like this one between the Victorian Government and Ballarat African Association support more members of our community to contribute and thrive.”

Quotes attributable to Dr Michael Akindeju, President Ballarat African Association

“We are grateful to the Andrews Government for this funding and the opportunity it provides us to build a Stronger Regional African Community in partnership with the City of Ballarat and Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council.”

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