The Western Bulldogs Community Foundation has been recognised at the annual Victorian Multicultural Awards for Excellence, held at Government House on Tuesday evening.
In the category of Community Innovation, the work of the WBCF and the Melton City Council to deliver The Melton Health Champions program was honoured.
The project supported and built the capacity of nearly 50 young leaders in fields such as COVID-19 prevention and health and wellbeing, and supported short term, paid employment for the participants - allowing them to become fully immersed in delivering the important outcomes of the program to their community.
As part of the program, the young leaders were engaged in vital training on a variety of topics including youth mental health, COVID-19 and online design, empowering them to share knowledge and information in their own language with often difficult to reach sections of the community.
Western Bulldogs General Manager – Community and Government Relations, Kashif Bouns, said the award was an opportunity to recognise the importance of the Foundation’s work across the diverse communities of the West.
“Winning this award is an honour, and it’s a great recognition of just how critical programs such as Melton Health Champions really are," Bouns said.
"These young people really stood up as leaders in their community during the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s been a privilege to be able to support them with extra skills and knowledge."
Bouns highlighted that the rich diversity of program participants allowed important messaging to be spread across the width and breadth of the community.
“At the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation, we have a commitment to supporting communities across Melbourne and Victoria’s west - our region is one of the most culturally diverse in the country," he said.
"It was important that this program involved young people from a variety of cultural backgrounds such as South Sudan, Samoa, New Zealand and Myanmar to ensure that critical information was able to reach people in their language through people they could trust."
You can read more about the Victorian Multicultural Awards and learn about other winners here.