New focus needed

The findings in the Dropping off the Edge report reminded everyone of the need for greater investment in the state’s poorest communities, Hume Mayor, Councillor Adem Atmaca, said today.

Cr Atmaca today welcomed the Catholic Social Services and Jesuit Social Services report, which identified that suburbs in southern Hume were amongst the most disadvantaged in Victoria.

“We know that many residents face a range of social challenges in suburbs like Broadmeadows, Dallas, Jacana, Campbellfield, Coolaroo and Meadow Heights,” Cr Atmaca said.

“Long-term, targeted programs that involve the community and all levels of government are required to make a real difference.

“One of these programs is Together 3047, in which Council has committed to invest $900,000 across three years to assist areas within postcode 3047, such as Broadmeadows.

“Together 3047 is squarely focused on employment and social initiatives that make a difference, and action which improves the amenity of suburbs.

“No one council can turn around decades of disadvantage alone, and we need the support of the state and federal governments to help make places like Broadmeadows and Coolaroo become beacons of growth.

“Hume is very keen to work in partnership with state and federal governments to improve employment and living conditions for residents in our disadvantaged areas.”

Hume City Council is one of the only municipalities in Victoria that offers tertiary education programs that can give residents the tools they need to expand their skills and secure a job.

“Hume Multiversity enables residents to study with Victoria’s top universities at our Global Learning Centres, and the results have been outstanding,” Cr Atmaca said.

“We also offer a Local Jobs for Local People program, and that’s recently helped a number of young and unemployed men from the 3047 postcode area to secure cadetships through TNT.

“This Council knows that a job can change a life. It can support a family. We see it all the time. That’s why Hume helps residents to access employment at the warehouses, factories and offices in our community.

“Last week, we released a draft youth strategy which committed Hume to funding the Moving Forward program, which has had tremendous success at helping vulnerable youth to get back on the right path.

“While the Australian Government cut funding to Moving Forward last year, Hume City Council determined it could not let this program slide away because we know it works.

“Hume is also determined to ensure our children get the best start in life no matter what their postcode.

“Council has been a leader in a number of initiatives aimed at improving literacy and learning, including Bi-lingual Storytime and Early Years Hubs.

“These programs help get children, who have recently migrated to Australia, ready for school so they can reach their full potential, and the Early Years Hubs have become a blueprint for other local councils to follow across the nation.

“The hubs are based in 12 primary schools in Hume and provide newly-arrived residents with playgroups, English language classes, and access to agencies that offer education, health and settlement services.”

Hume City Council’s commitment to improve social outcomes was highlighted when it released a long-term strategy document, titled Hume Horizons 2040.

The plan had been developed with feedback and support from residents across Hume, and a key theme of the document was to develop ‘a well-educated and employed community’.

“An immensely exciting future is very possible, but it will require many years of commitment and investment,” Cr Atmaca said.

“We believe that growth in our suburbs will lead to growth across our state and our country, and Hume’s local programs prove the positive change which can come from real action.”

Posted on 12:00 AM, 22 July 2015


Updated : 10:37 AM, 22 July 2015

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