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More Early Childhood Traineeships As Demand Grows

More traineeships are being offered in early childhood education as the Andrews Labor Government invests in giving Victorian kids the best start. Minister for Employment Jaala Pulford and Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt today visited Samantha’s Child Care Centre and Kindergarten in Camberwell to announce an additional 50 traineeships as part of the Labor Government’s Early Childhood Educator Jobs initiative. The now $3.9 million Government program, delivered in partnership with Jobs Victoria and Chisholm TAFE, will enable Victorian children to thrive, improve work-life balance for families and create a total of 200 secure jobs in the sector. Gabrielle Morais, 19, is one of 70 people hired through the state-wide initiative launched in January. After years of babysitting her younger cousins, Ms Morais applied for the program in March and is now studying a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and realising her dream career. The program will support people who have experienced challenges securing employment, including women aged over 45, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culturally and linguistically diverse Victorians, and young people. Funding will also go towards fast-tracking recruitment, support for early childhood centres to train new staff and attracting potential new workers. It comes after the Government last week announced an ambitious $9 billion overhaul of early childhood education and care, The Best Start, Best Life Program giving kids the best start to life and supporting more women back into the workforce. Applications for the new roles are open and employers or people looking for work can register at jobs.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Employment Jaala Pulford “This is about creating more opportunities where they’re needed most and giving parents the support they need to give their children the best start in life.” “We’re making it easier for people to start a career in this rewarding sector and providing on-the-job training so workers get the full experience.” Quote attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt “We know early childhood centres need staff and this will shore up the workforce while it expands to support more children to learn.” Quote attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney “This early childhood training and employment initiative shows the important role Victorian TAFE plays in in giving early childhood professionals the training they need to educate our kids.”

More Early Childhood Traineeships As Demand Grows

More traineeships are being offered in early childhood education as the Andrews Labor Government invests in giving Victorian kids the best start. Minister for Employment Jaala Pulford and Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt today visited Samantha’s Child Care Centre and Kindergarten in Camberwell to announce an additional 50 traineeships as part of the Labor Government’s Early Childhood Educator Jobs initiative. The now $3.9 million Government program, delivered in partnership with Jobs Victoria and Chisholm TAFE, will enable Victorian children to thrive, improve work-life balance for families and create a total of 200 secure jobs in the sector. Gabrielle Morais, 19, is one of 70 people hired through the state-wide initiative launched in January. After years of babysitting her younger cousins, Ms Morais applied for the program in March and is now studying a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and realising her dream career. The program will support people who have experienced challenges securing employment, including women aged over 45, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culturally and linguistically diverse Victorians, and young people. Funding will also go towards fast-tracking recruitment, support for early childhood centres to train new staff and attracting potential new workers. It comes after the Government last week announced an ambitious $9 billion overhaul of early childhood education and care, The Best Start, Best Life Program giving kids the best start to life and supporting more women back into the workforce. Applications for the new roles are open and employers or people looking for work can register at jobs.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Employment Jaala Pulford “This is about creating more opportunities where they’re needed most and giving parents the support they need to give their children the best start in life.” “We’re making it easier for people to start a career in this rewarding sector and providing on-the-job training so workers get the full experience.” Quote attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt “We know early childhood centres need staff and this will shore up the workforce while it expands to support more children to learn.” Quote attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney “This early childhood training and employment initiative shows the important role Victorian TAFE plays in in giving early childhood professionals the training they need to educate our kids.”

Supporting Regional Startups To Succeed

The Andrews Labor Government is delivering more support for regional startups with cash grants now available through Victoria’s startup agency LaunchVic. Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford announced expressions of interest are now open with grants of up to $300,000 on offer for programs that promote startup entrepreneurship to regional Victorians. Local councils, business chambers and regionally based innovation hubs are encouraged to apply with the aim to harness more startup activity in regional communities. The programs should champion regional innovation, consider the challenges and opportunities that exist for regional startups and also look at ways to build and connect with local communities. The Labor Government, through LaunchVic, has supported more than 160 regional entrepreneurs across a range of areas including agtech, food, energy, b2b and enterprise software to make the leap into the startup world through programs including Startup Shakeup, Startup Gippsland and Runway. Victoria’s startup industry is growing rapidly, more than doubling in value in the past year to $23.6 billion. The Government is also supporting the startup sector through several key investments including the Victorian Startup Capital Fund and the $10 million Alice Anderson Fund. Supporting Victorian startups is one of the Government’s strategic priorities highlighted in the Innovation Statement released in November last year, with the aim to increase competitiveness and attract national and international investors. Expressions of Interest close 21 July. For more information and application guidelines visit: launchvic.org. Quotes attributable to Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford “This will ensure our regional startups have the support they need to transform their dreams into a reality, creating more local jobs and making Victoria an even more attractive destination to launch a start-up.” “This is a really exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs and start-ups across regional Victoria and I look forward to seeing them succeed.” Quotes attributable to LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick “Startups play an important role in the economic growth story of regional Victoria.” “If you are passionate about activating entrepreneurship in the regions and interested in running or expanding your program in Victoria, we want to hear from you.”

Supporting Regional Startups To Succeed

The Andrews Labor Government is delivering more support for regional startups with cash grants now available through Victoria’s startup agency LaunchVic. Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford announced expressions of interest are now open with grants of up to $300,000 on offer for programs that promote startup entrepreneurship to regional Victorians. Local councils, business chambers and regionally based innovation hubs are encouraged to apply with the aim to harness more startup activity in regional communities. The programs should champion regional innovation, consider the challenges and opportunities that exist for regional startups and also look at ways to build and connect with local communities. The Labor Government, through LaunchVic, has supported more than 160 regional entrepreneurs across a range of areas including agtech, food, energy, b2b and enterprise software to make the leap into the startup world through programs including Startup Shakeup, Startup Gippsland and Runway. Victoria’s startup industry is growing rapidly, more than doubling in value in the past year to $23.6 billion. The Government is also supporting the startup sector through several key investments including the Victorian Startup Capital Fund and the $10 million Alice Anderson Fund. Supporting Victorian startups is one of the Government’s strategic priorities highlighted in the Innovation Statement released in November last year, with the aim to increase competitiveness and attract national and international investors. Expressions of Interest close 21 July. For more information and application guidelines visit: launchvic.org. Quotes attributable to Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford “This will ensure our regional startups have the support they need to transform their dreams into a reality, creating more local jobs and making Victoria an even more attractive destination to launch a start-up.” “This is a really exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs and start-ups across regional Victoria and I look forward to seeing them succeed.” Quotes attributable to LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick “Startups play an important role in the economic growth story of regional Victoria.” “If you are passionate about activating entrepreneurship in the regions and interested in running or expanding your program in Victoria, we want to hear from you.”

Breaking Ground On New Melanoma Clinical Trials Centre

Construction is now underway on the new Victorian Melanoma and Clinical Trials Centre, as the Andrews Labor Government continues to put patients first. The world-class $152 million centre will bring together specialist researchers, clinical care and cancer patient treatment facilities under one roof and will drive innovation in cancer research and provide comprehensive skin cancer care services. Backed by $50 million from the Labor Government and located next to the Alfred Hospital on St Kilda Road, the new centre will be home to the Victorian Melanoma Service, Alfred Cancer Services, and the Australian Clinical Trials Centre. The Commonwealth Government has also provided $50 million towards the facility. It will be known as the Paula Fox Melanoma and Cancer Centre, named after philanthropist Paula Fox who has a personal connection to melanoma research and treatment. Melanoma is one of the five most common cancers in Victoria, with an average of 3,000 people diagnosed every year. The centre is a part of the Alfred Health’s greater ‘TrialHub’ program, connecting rural and regional Victorians to clinical trial opportunities. The co-location of melanoma, oncology, clinical trials and research operations at the centre will support ongoing TrialHub initiatives, including clinical trials for melanoma. The centre will have capacity for almost 300 patients per day across 25 clinic rooms and 49 chemotherapy treatment chairs, for patient screening, assessment and treatment. Demolition at the site is complete making way for construction on the development to begin, with the hospital and research centre to be operational in 2024. Victoria's clinical trials contribute more than $300 million annually to the state’s economy. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “With a great partner in Canberra, we'll deliver a world-class Melanoma Centre in St Kilda to prevent, detect and treat skin cancers – as we continue to put patients first.” “This specialist centre will enhance cancer care and expand clinical trials, so every Victorian patient can get the care they need, close to home.” Quote attributable to Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford “Victoria is a global leader in medical research and this new centre will allow us to build on our capability and drive new breakthroughs to change the lives of those with skin cancer.”

Breaking Ground On New Melanoma Clinical Trials Centre

Construction is now underway on the new Victorian Melanoma and Clinical Trials Centre, as the Andrews Labor Government continues to put patients first. The world-class $152 million centre will bring together specialist researchers, clinical care and cancer patient treatment facilities under one roof and will drive innovation in cancer research and provide comprehensive skin cancer care services. Backed by $50 million from the Labor Government and located next to the Alfred Hospital on St Kilda Road, the new centre will be home to the Victorian Melanoma Service, Alfred Cancer Services, and the Australian Clinical Trials Centre. The Commonwealth Government has also provided $50 million towards the facility. It will be known as the Paula Fox Melanoma and Cancer Centre, named after philanthropist Paula Fox who has a personal connection to melanoma research and treatment. Melanoma is one of the five most common cancers in Victoria, with an average of 3,000 people diagnosed every year. The centre is a part of the Alfred Health’s greater ‘TrialHub’ program, connecting rural and regional Victorians to clinical trial opportunities. The co-location of melanoma, oncology, clinical trials and research operations at the centre will support ongoing TrialHub initiatives, including clinical trials for melanoma. The centre will have capacity for almost 300 patients per day across 25 clinic rooms and 49 chemotherapy treatment chairs, for patient screening, assessment and treatment. Demolition at the site is complete making way for construction on the development to begin, with the hospital and research centre to be operational in 2024. Victoria's clinical trials contribute more than $300 million annually to the state’s economy. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “With a great partner in Canberra, we'll deliver a world-class Melanoma Centre in St Kilda to prevent, detect and treat skin cancers – as we continue to put patients first.” “This specialist centre will enhance cancer care and expand clinical trials, so every Victorian patient can get the care they need, close to home.” Quote attributable to Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford “Victoria is a global leader in medical research and this new centre will allow us to build on our capability and drive new breakthroughs to change the lives of those with skin cancer.”

Local clubs urged to apply for Sporting Club grants

Grassroots sports and active recreation clubs and organisations across Western Victoria are being urged to apply for funding to boost their equipment, skills and administration expertise.  Labor Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford, today announced applications had opened for the Andrews Labor Government’s latest round of the Sporting Club Grants Program. The program provides payments of up to $1,000 for new uniforms and equipment (including defibrillators), up to $5,000 for training coaches, officials and volunteers and up to $5,000 to improve club operational effectiveness. Grassroots clubs and organisations in Western Victoria are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The Sporting Club Grants Program is part of the Andrews Labor Government’s commitment to make community sport accessible and inclusive, stimulate local economies, build sustainable sport and recreation and volunteer opportunities, and increase local participation. The program has provided more than 9,100 grants totalling more than $13.8 million to clubs across the state since 2015. It is complemented by the Community Sport Sector COVID-19 Survival Package that provided $50 million to more than 7,500 clubs, leagues, state associations and other organisations across the sport and active recreation sector. For more information and to apply for the Sporting Club Grants Program, visit sport.vic.gov.au/grants-and-funding Quotes attributable to Minister for Community Sport Ros Spence “Sport is the lifeblood of Victorian communities. That’s why we’re backing more clubs to help with uniforms and equipment, plus grants to investment in the future through training for coaches and volunteers.” “This is about helping clubs get back in the game so more Victorians can join in the fun and tap into all the sport and career pathways that grassroots community sport offers.” Quotes attributable to Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford  “The Sporting Club Grants Program is giving grassroots sports clubs the support they need to come back better than ever from the recent restrictions, grow their ranks and help more people than ever play the sports they love.” “I encourage all our local clubs in to grasp this opportunity and apply.”

Local clubs urged to apply for Sporting Club grants

Grassroots sports and active recreation clubs and organisations across Western Victoria are being urged to apply for funding to boost their equipment, skills and administration expertise.  Labor Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford, today announced applications had opened for the Andrews Labor Government’s latest round of the Sporting Club Grants Program. The program provides payments of up to $1,000 for new uniforms and equipment (including defibrillators), up to $5,000 for training coaches, officials and volunteers and up to $5,000 to improve club operational effectiveness. Grassroots clubs and organisations in Western Victoria are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The Sporting Club Grants Program is part of the Andrews Labor Government’s commitment to make community sport accessible and inclusive, stimulate local economies, build sustainable sport and recreation and volunteer opportunities, and increase local participation. The program has provided more than 9,100 grants totalling more than $13.8 million to clubs across the state since 2015. It is complemented by the Community Sport Sector COVID-19 Survival Package that provided $50 million to more than 7,500 clubs, leagues, state associations and other organisations across the sport and active recreation sector. For more information and to apply for the Sporting Club Grants Program, visit sport.vic.gov.au/grants-and-funding Quotes attributable to Minister for Community Sport Ros Spence “Sport is the lifeblood of Victorian communities. That’s why we’re backing more clubs to help with uniforms and equipment, plus grants to investment in the future through training for coaches and volunteers.” “This is about helping clubs get back in the game so more Victorians can join in the fun and tap into all the sport and career pathways that grassroots community sport offers.” Quotes attributable to Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford  “The Sporting Club Grants Program is giving grassroots sports clubs the support they need to come back better than ever from the recent restrictions, grow their ranks and help more people than ever play the sports they love.” “I encourage all our local clubs in to grasp this opportunity and apply.”

 

Victorian Landcare grants and junior grants now open

The Victorian Government is providing a major funding boost to volunteers and young people across the state, including in Western Victoria to help them protect and restore the natural environment in our area. Labor Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford, said the 2022 Victorian Landcare Grants and the 2022 Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants are now open and aim to help volunteers and kids across the state protect Victoria’s environment. As part of the Victorian Landcare Grants, $3.35 million is available for grants of up to $20,000 to fund on-ground projects that protect, enhance, and restore land and environment. Support grants of up to $500 are also available to help with group administration and running costs. The grants are open to environmental volunteering groups, including Landcare groups and networks, Friends groups, Conservation Management Networks, Committees of Management, Coastcare groups and Aboriginal groups to support the important work they do in protecting and restoring our land and environment. In 2021, over 50 project grants and 34 support grants were provided in the Lowan and Ripon Electorates, which helped fund projects including Project Platypus Landcare action 2021; Central Victorian Regenerative Farmers - Extension project; and Rounding up the Rabbit campaign.   As part of the 2022 Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants, $450,000 of funding will be provided to environmental projects at local schools, kindergartens, preschools, childcare centres and other youth groups. Grants of up to $5000 will be available for projects that provide youth in Western Victoria with an opportunity to participate in hands-on biodiversity projects or educate them in valuing and actively caring for biodiversity the environment. Both grant programs support the implementation of Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037, the Victorian Government’s 20-year plan to protect Victoria’s environment and native species.   For more information about how to apply, visit environment.vic.gov.au/grants  Quotes attributable to Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford “These grants will help volunteers and youth across Victoria restore and improve habitats for our native plants and animals.” “We know Victorians love being out in nature – and we are investing to ensure our precious and unique environment can be enjoyed by future generations.” “This funding will assist our hard-working volunteers, community groups and youth to continue caring for our local natural environment.”

Victorian Landcare grants and junior grants now open

The Victorian Government is providing a major funding boost to volunteers and young people across the state, including in Western Victoria to help them protect and restore the natural environment in our area. Labor Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford, said the 2022 Victorian Landcare Grants and the 2022 Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants are now open and aim to help volunteers and kids across the state protect Victoria’s environment. As part of the Victorian Landcare Grants, $3.35 million is available for grants of up to $20,000 to fund on-ground projects that protect, enhance, and restore land and environment. Support grants of up to $500 are also available to help with group administration and running costs. The grants are open to environmental volunteering groups, including Landcare groups and networks, Friends groups, Conservation Management Networks, Committees of Management, Coastcare groups and Aboriginal groups to support the important work they do in protecting and restoring our land and environment. In 2021, over 50 project grants and 34 support grants were provided in the Lowan and Ripon Electorates, which helped fund projects including Project Platypus Landcare action 2021; Central Victorian Regenerative Farmers - Extension project; and Rounding up the Rabbit campaign.   As part of the 2022 Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants, $450,000 of funding will be provided to environmental projects at local schools, kindergartens, preschools, childcare centres and other youth groups. Grants of up to $5000 will be available for projects that provide youth in Western Victoria with an opportunity to participate in hands-on biodiversity projects or educate them in valuing and actively caring for biodiversity the environment. Both grant programs support the implementation of Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037, the Victorian Government’s 20-year plan to protect Victoria’s environment and native species.   For more information about how to apply, visit environment.vic.gov.au/grants  Quotes attributable to Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford “These grants will help volunteers and youth across Victoria restore and improve habitats for our native plants and animals.” “We know Victorians love being out in nature – and we are investing to ensure our precious and unique environment can be enjoyed by future generations.” “This funding will assist our hard-working volunteers, community groups and youth to continue caring for our local natural environment.”

Innovation Challenge To Drive Medtech Manufacturing

The Andrews Labor Government is improving the lives of people with disabilities and health conditions by backing the state’s brightest minds to deliver new locally manufactured medtech. Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford visited Swinburne University today to announce $400,000 in funding for two new innovation challenges to fast-track the development of healthcare products. The Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery Medtech Challenge and the Swinburne LivingAT Health Innovation Challenge will strengthen ties between allied health workers, researchers, developers and manufacturers while propelling the commercialisation of new ideas. The Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery Medtech Challenge will focus on creating special equipment to assist people with conditions including type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis and neurological conditions such as epilepsy. While customised designs for new mobility aids, like wheelchairs and walkers, are expected to come out of the Swinburne LivingAT Health Innovation Challenge. The programs are funded by the Australian Medtech Manufacturing Centre – a Labor Government initiative to spearhead the state’s push to become a global leader in healthcare design and innovation, while building local manufacturing capability and creating jobs. Victoria’s medtech sector is one of the fastest growing local industries, generating $21.4 billion in revenue and $3.5 billion in exports and supporting more than 31,400 jobs across industries. The programs complement recent Government investments in medtech which have enabled companies such as Compumedics to make its medical-grade wearable monitoring device in Abbotsford after a decade of manufacturing overseas. For more information about the Australian Medtech Manufacturing Centre visit djpr.vic.gov.au/ammc. Quotes attributable to Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford “This program is backing the brightest minds to innovate and design new technologies that will assist people with disabilities or health conditions such as diabetes and osteoarthritis to live more independently and improve their quality of life.” “We’re supporting local production of health and medtech products to create new local jobs, reduce our reliance on overseas suppliers and protect us from supply chain disruptions.”

Innovation Challenge To Drive Medtech Manufacturing

The Andrews Labor Government is improving the lives of people with disabilities and health conditions by backing the state’s brightest minds to deliver new locally manufactured medtech. Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford visited Swinburne University today to announce $400,000 in funding for two new innovation challenges to fast-track the development of healthcare products. The Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery Medtech Challenge and the Swinburne LivingAT Health Innovation Challenge will strengthen ties between allied health workers, researchers, developers and manufacturers while propelling the commercialisation of new ideas. The Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery Medtech Challenge will focus on creating special equipment to assist people with conditions including type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis and neurological conditions such as epilepsy. While customised designs for new mobility aids, like wheelchairs and walkers, are expected to come out of the Swinburne LivingAT Health Innovation Challenge. The programs are funded by the Australian Medtech Manufacturing Centre – a Labor Government initiative to spearhead the state’s push to become a global leader in healthcare design and innovation, while building local manufacturing capability and creating jobs. Victoria’s medtech sector is one of the fastest growing local industries, generating $21.4 billion in revenue and $3.5 billion in exports and supporting more than 31,400 jobs across industries. The programs complement recent Government investments in medtech which have enabled companies such as Compumedics to make its medical-grade wearable monitoring device in Abbotsford after a decade of manufacturing overseas. For more information about the Australian Medtech Manufacturing Centre visit djpr.vic.gov.au/ammc. Quotes attributable to Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford “This program is backing the brightest minds to innovate and design new technologies that will assist people with disabilities or health conditions such as diabetes and osteoarthritis to live more independently and improve their quality of life.” “We’re supporting local production of health and medtech products to create new local jobs, reduce our reliance on overseas suppliers and protect us from supply chain disruptions.”

Victorian mRNA Research Acceleration Grants Announced

The Andrews Labor Government is fast-tracking innovative mRNA research projects with grants for Victorian scientists. Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford today announced the first round of recipients from the mRNA Victorian Research Acceleration Fund (mVRAF), with almost $2 million shared across 12 projects. Successful recipients include a research partnership between Monash University and Alfred Health to develop a liptotide-based nanoparticle (LBPN) RNA delivery technology for muscular dystrophy, a disease that impacts 1 in 20,000 children. The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health will also partner with Monash University, receiving a grant to help them develop an mRNA vaccine for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. The mRNA grants are part of the Labor Government’s $50 million commitment to establish a world-class mRNA industry in Victoria by supporting projects developing artificial intelligence technology, next generation manufacturing, safety testing and alternative vaccine delivery methods (needle-free technology). Victorian scientists and manufacturers recently also created Australia’s first mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate – Australia’s first ever mRNA drug product – in just five months, with clinical trials now underway. Victoria will soon become the first place in the southern hemisphere to manufacture mRNA vaccines, with Moderna set to establish a large-scale manufacturing facility in Melbourne. The Government has invested $1.3 billion in medical research since 2014, including up to $400 million for the establishment of the Australian Institute for Infectious Disease. Government investment in the medical research sector has helped create more than 73,000 direct and indirect full-time equivalent jobs. Quotes attributable to Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford “mRNA-based treatments have the potential to change people’s lives, and that’s why we’re backing our world-leading scientists to do this incredible research.” “These grants are supporting our researchers to do incredible work, that in future could prevent and treat all types of illness from cancer to autoimmune diseases.” Quote attributable to Monash University Professor Christina Mitchell “Not only is this award further proof of Monash University's strong commitment mRNA research it is also recognition, by mRNA Victoria, that this is an area of research that will be hugely beneficial to human health, across a broad range of medical applications and diseases."

Victorian mRNA Research Acceleration Grants Announced

The Andrews Labor Government is fast-tracking innovative mRNA research projects with grants for Victorian scientists. Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford today announced the first round of recipients from the mRNA Victorian Research Acceleration Fund (mVRAF), with almost $2 million shared across 12 projects. Successful recipients include a research partnership between Monash University and Alfred Health to develop a liptotide-based nanoparticle (LBPN) RNA delivery technology for muscular dystrophy, a disease that impacts 1 in 20,000 children. The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health will also partner with Monash University, receiving a grant to help them develop an mRNA vaccine for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. The mRNA grants are part of the Labor Government’s $50 million commitment to establish a world-class mRNA industry in Victoria by supporting projects developing artificial intelligence technology, next generation manufacturing, safety testing and alternative vaccine delivery methods (needle-free technology). Victorian scientists and manufacturers recently also created Australia’s first mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate – Australia’s first ever mRNA drug product – in just five months, with clinical trials now underway. Victoria will soon become the first place in the southern hemisphere to manufacture mRNA vaccines, with Moderna set to establish a large-scale manufacturing facility in Melbourne. The Government has invested $1.3 billion in medical research since 2014, including up to $400 million for the establishment of the Australian Institute for Infectious Disease. Government investment in the medical research sector has helped create more than 73,000 direct and indirect full-time equivalent jobs. Quotes attributable to Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford “mRNA-based treatments have the potential to change people’s lives, and that’s why we’re backing our world-leading scientists to do this incredible research.” “These grants are supporting our researchers to do incredible work, that in future could prevent and treat all types of illness from cancer to autoimmune diseases.” Quote attributable to Monash University Professor Christina Mitchell “Not only is this award further proof of Monash University's strong commitment mRNA research it is also recognition, by mRNA Victoria, that this is an area of research that will be hugely beneficial to human health, across a broad range of medical applications and diseases."

Supporting children and youth in the Wimmera

Victorian communities are safer and more supported thanks to a series of investments from the Andrews Labor Government to address the root causes of crime. Labor Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford, today announced Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Co-operative has received $300,000 as part of more than $4.6 million in funding through a second round of Building Safer Communities grants, supporting locally-driven projects to improve community safety and address the causes of crime. The Creating Safer Places and Crime Prevention Innovation Fund grants provide up to $300,000 to councils, not-for-profit community organisations and other specialist organisations across Victoria to support local solutions to local problems.  The Gulgurn Manja Gariwerd Academy Program to be developed by the Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Co-operative will be a culturally informed enhancement program, in the Wimmera South West, to address the negative and proportionally higher contact between Aboriginal children and young people and the justice system. The Creating Safer Places funds projects with local councils which help prevent crime by creating inclusive environments and activating public places. This can include lighting upgrades and security installation, such as CCTV.   The Crime Prevention Innovation Fund supports councils and community organisations to deliver and evaluate innovative community safety and crime prevention initiatives. The Building Safer Communities Program provides grants and community forums and is a cornerstone of the government’s Crime Prevention Strategy, which sets out a long-term approach to addressing the root causes of crime and building safer communities across Victoria.  Previous projects funded through the program include the Night Justice project which improves safety for women and gender diverse people in the Melbourne CBD, a community-led infrastructure and activation project in the Hemmings Street Precinct of Dandenong and a mentoring program with South Sudanese youth across the Western Suburbs.  In total, the Labor Government has invested more than $90 million in crime prevention programs since 2015 and supported over 860 projects to increase safety and community confidence in public places across Victoria. For more information visit Building Safer Communities Program | Community Crime Prevention Victoria.  Quotes attributable to Minister for Crime Prevention Natalie Hutchins “We’ve seen so many communities make so much positive change through the Building Safer Communities program so far, and I’m excited to see more projects come to life through this second round of funding.” “These grants support local communities to create and deliver solutions to local problems – we’re providing funding where it’s needed most and building a safer Victoria for all.” Quotes attributable to Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford “We know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children often face challenges that can lead to contact with the justice system. The grant to support the development of the Gulgurn Manja Gariwerd Academy Program will assist the Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Co-operative in improving the wellbeing of children and youth at-risk to help them thrive.” “By investing in local solutions to local problems we know the community is going to directly benefit and have safer places to call home”. 

Supporting children and youth in the Wimmera

Victorian communities are safer and more supported thanks to a series of investments from the Andrews Labor Government to address the root causes of crime. Labor Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford, today announced Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Co-operative has received $300,000 as part of more than $4.6 million in funding through a second round of Building Safer Communities grants, supporting locally-driven projects to improve community safety and address the causes of crime. The Creating Safer Places and Crime Prevention Innovation Fund grants provide up to $300,000 to councils, not-for-profit community organisations and other specialist organisations across Victoria to support local solutions to local problems.  The Gulgurn Manja Gariwerd Academy Program to be developed by the Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Co-operative will be a culturally informed enhancement program, in the Wimmera South West, to address the negative and proportionally higher contact between Aboriginal children and young people and the justice system. The Creating Safer Places funds projects with local councils which help prevent crime by creating inclusive environments and activating public places. This can include lighting upgrades and security installation, such as CCTV.   The Crime Prevention Innovation Fund supports councils and community organisations to deliver and evaluate innovative community safety and crime prevention initiatives. The Building Safer Communities Program provides grants and community forums and is a cornerstone of the government’s Crime Prevention Strategy, which sets out a long-term approach to addressing the root causes of crime and building safer communities across Victoria.  Previous projects funded through the program include the Night Justice project which improves safety for women and gender diverse people in the Melbourne CBD, a community-led infrastructure and activation project in the Hemmings Street Precinct of Dandenong and a mentoring program with South Sudanese youth across the Western Suburbs.  In total, the Labor Government has invested more than $90 million in crime prevention programs since 2015 and supported over 860 projects to increase safety and community confidence in public places across Victoria. For more information visit Building Safer Communities Program | Community Crime Prevention Victoria.  Quotes attributable to Minister for Crime Prevention Natalie Hutchins “We’ve seen so many communities make so much positive change through the Building Safer Communities program so far, and I’m excited to see more projects come to life through this second round of funding.” “These grants support local communities to create and deliver solutions to local problems – we’re providing funding where it’s needed most and building a safer Victoria for all.” Quotes attributable to Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford “We know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children often face challenges that can lead to contact with the justice system. The grant to support the development of the Gulgurn Manja Gariwerd Academy Program will assist the Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Co-operative in improving the wellbeing of children and youth at-risk to help them thrive.” “By investing in local solutions to local problems we know the community is going to directly benefit and have safer places to call home”.