Young Somali Australians in Melbourne's north can now access culturally sensitive intervention programs and support. The funding boost comes from the Victorian Government’s Building Safer Communities Program.

Heidelberg organisation Himilo Community Connect has received a $271,000 grant through the Crime Prevention Innovation Fund. The purpose is to help keep young Somali Australians on the right path and out of the justice system.

The project works with young Somali Australians and their families to provide access to culturally appropriate and community-led diversion programs. The aim is to create pathways that keep the community safe and divert young people away from custody.

To prioritise the wellbeing of young Somali Australians, the Heidelberg Somali Community Justice Project will partner with:

  • Somali community members
  • Victoria Police
  • the Magistrates Court
  • the West Heidelberg Legal Service
  • other community organisations.

The funding builds on a $299,600 grant provided through round one of the Crime Prevention Innovation Fund to Banyule City Council. This was a part of the ‘Towards a Safe, Strong and Resilient Somali Community in Banyule’ project.

The Crime Prevention Innovation Fund is part of the government’s Building Safer Communities Program. It offers councils, not-for-profit organisations and research bodies grants of up to $300,000. This helps to deliver innovative community safety and crime prevention initiatives.

Read more about the Building Safer Communities program.