Priority Response to Multicultural Communities during the COVID-19

What is the Priority Response to Multicultural Communities during the COVID-19?

The Priority Response to Multicultural Communities during the COVID-19 is an initiative to develop locally delivered solutions to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).



Applications funded through Phase 1 of the Priority Response to Multicultural Communities during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) grants program are eligible to apply for Phase 2 funding.

The Priority Response to Multicultural Communities during coronavirus (COVID-19): Phase 2 (‘the program’) offers grants to multicultural and faith organisations in Victoria. The program ensures organisations can effectively respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its impacts on multicultural and faith communities, and in particular respond to the distinct and disproportionate challenges experienced by women and young people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds as well as new and emerging multicultural and faith communities. It also seeks to promote capacity building among local community network and organisations.



The key objectives of the program are to:

  • maintain low number and proportion of positive coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Victorian multicultural and faith communities
  • increase the number and proportion of individuals testing for coronavirus (COVID-19), support vaccine preparedness, and support a high number and proportions of individuals being vaccinated in Victoria’s multicultural and faith communities
  • improve understanding and adherence to Victorian government health directions in Victoria’s multicultural and faith communities
  • build stronger partnerships across the Victorian multicultural sector;
  • build the capacity of local community networks, organisations and services to support prevention and improve preparedness against any future coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks;
  • build digital literacy of seniors’ groups to increase ability to safely engage and be socially connected online;
  • build the capacity and delivery of community-led health communications; and
  • increase understanding of barriers to health participations and engagement by multicultural and faith communities.



The program will provide up to $8 million in total to support multicultural and faith communities by funding organisations to:

  • operate in a COVIDSafe way;
  • provide support and emergency relief to multicultural and faith communities so that individuals are to remain in isolation where required;
  • deliver outreach supports so that individuals in multicultural and faith communities follow all government health directions to prevent the spread of the virus including presenting for testing if they are unwell or have been in close contact with a confirmed case;
  • understand and engage with the government’s coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination messaging and present for a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination when the vaccination program is available in their community;
  • work with community leaders and organisations to develop tailored approaches to communicating and engaging with communities and equip community leaders with the information that they can use to educate their community;
  • address coronavirus (COVID-19) risk factors and vulnerabilities, particularly in communities who may have been directly impacted by Victoria’s ‘second wave’ and/or are in a position where they may be vulnerable to a future coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak; and
  • directly support CALD young people and women, who may have been disproportionality impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


Eligible Projects

Program funding is directed towards activities that will support multicultural and faith communities to protect themselves from becoming positive to coronavirus (COVID-19), and that supports individuals to follow health directions, including:

  • Purchase of items
    • emergency relief essentials (including food);
    • personal health safety items such as masks and hand sanitiser;
    • communications equipment, technology, and social media advertising; and
    • transportation costs for vaccinations and/or medical appointments and pharmacies for multicultural seniors.
  • Delivery of services
    • community engagement;
    • health communication and education, and translation of health messages, consistent with all current health directions and advice from the Department of Health;
    • outreach and community support, including translation services as part of this support;
    • research and community consultation; and
    • training and mentoring programs.
  • Any other activities as identified by communities and their representatives and accepted by Multicultural Affairs, which supports multicultural and faith communities to:
    • protect themselves from becoming positive to coronavirus (COVID-19) and supports testing and individuals to follow heath directions;
    • address social and economic coronavirus (COVID-19) risk factors and vulnerabilities;
    • supports the creation of community-led health communications;
    • contributes to a better understanding of multicultural and faith communities’ communication consumption and preferences and barriers to health participation and engagement;
    • provides novel solutions for known communication and content development barriers and challenges for multicultural and faith; or
    • advances seniors’ internet accessibility, digital literacy and access to computers and online engagement.

The funding amounts that will be awarded will depend on each individual project. Due to the finite nature of the available program budget, in some cases, not all expenditure items will be supported for funding. Download the budget template and attach it to the online application form before submitting.


Eligible Applicants

The eligibility criteria for the program is as follows:

  • organisations must be one of the following types:
    • local council, or
    • not-for-profit organisation that delivers services to community, or
    • regional or state-wide peak multicultural/interfaith organisation, or
    • faith-based or community-led organisation representing multicultural and faith communities
  • organisations must have a current Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN at 30 June 2019
  • organisations must be operating throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and have the capacity to immediately deliver support and services to multicultural and faith communities
  • organisations must accept it will deliver all project activities in compliance with the health directions of the Victorian Chief Health Officer and the Victorian Government Department of Health
  • schools, registered training organisations and TAFEs are not eligible to apply for funding
  • universities, however, are eligible to apply for:
    • activities aligned with the objectives of the program, focused on multicultural student cohorts, for example international students.
    • research projects that support the objectives of the program
    • as a partner with a community organisation on a project aligned to the objectives of the program.



Applications close 28 May 2021 or until funds are exhausted, whichever occurs first.


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