A creative new sewing program will help young people to thrive and build better connections in Melbourne’s west. This is thanks to funding from the Youth Engagement Grants.

The Youth Artistic Sewing and Creative Arts Workshops project in Sunshine will bring together children and young people or who are:

  • at risk of disengagement
  • isolated, or
  • experiencing impacts to their health and wellbeing arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The workshops will support up to 400 participants. They are aimed at young people between the ages of 8 and 16 from multicultural backgrounds.

The workshops will help build new skills in professional clothing designs, such as:

  • pattern making
  • sewing techniques
  • tie-dye batik, and
  • fabric painting.

Participants will also learn to:

  • develop and present design concepts
  • sew prototypes, and
  • construct garments.

The project is due to start in September 2022. It will help participants to develop connections to their community, family and peers. It also aims to create future pathways to further education and employment. Participants will also engage with other support services as required.

The Victorian Government is providing $49,000 over 2 years towards the project. Project provider Kontiki Cultural Women Empowerment are providing more than $38,000 of in-kind support.

The community organisation teaches participants about professional clothing designs. It builds the capacity of women and participants of all ages from refugee and migrant backgrounds to:

  • become self-sufficient
  • learn new skills, and
  • become socially connected.

Kontiki Cultural Women Empowerment has won numerous community awards. It also is a regular participant in the Melbourne Fashion Festival.

The organisation was one of 15 to share in more than $743,000 under round one of the Youth Engagement Grants. You can read about all of the round one grant awardees on our funded projects page.

The grants provide small multicultural and Aboriginal organisations with grants of up to $50,000 each over 2 years to deliver activities to children and young people between the ages of 8 and 24 to support them to connect to their community, family, friends and culture.

The Youth Engagement Grants are part of the Building Safer Communities Program, a key initiative under the Crime Prevention Strategy. The Strategy helps promote community safety and prevent crime in Victoria.