MORE YOUNG PEOPLE EMPOWERED TO STAND AGAINST HATE

The NSW Government’s flagship program helping empower young people to fight racism and hate has nearly doubled in size, with ten new partnership projects joining the initiative.

Each of the new partnership projects have been awarded a share in $1.6 million through the Community Partnership Action (COMPACT) program, to run projects specifically designed to help young people combat hate, racism, and divisive attitudes.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said each partnership is made up of a collection of community groups and organisations wanting to work together in their local area to help young people fight hate and division.

“We now have 24 COMPACT partnership projects involving over 80 organisations who are willing to stand up and stand united as champions for community harmony,” Mr Coure said.

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“There will always be individuals who want to threaten and divide our society by inciting fear and hatred along racial or religious lines.

“COMPACT is all about denying these negative forces what they want, and we see young people as the key to achieving this. We do this by working with grassroots organisations to draw on the strength of our unity and foster a sense of connectedness among young people.”

Mr Coure said many of the new partnerships are in regional NSW, including Goulburn, Queanbeyan, Shoalhaven, and Wagga Wagga.

“Our multicultural society is not confined to one area or city, it extends right across NSW,” Mr Coure said.

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“It is really promising that we have so many community organisations rallying together to create projects that will benefit young people in their local areas.”

Among the 10 new partnership projects joining the program are:

· Cohesive Communities: Building social cohesion through youth agency: a project led by the Institute for Economics and Peace and partnership with PCYC NSW and Rotary International in Sydney, particularly South-West Sydney.

· Mount Druitt Youth for Peace and Understanding: a project led by Mount Druitt Ethnic Communities Agency (MECA) in partnership with Blacktown City Council, The Street University (Ted Noffs Foundation) and Settlement Services International.

· Stand Up – Multicultural Youth Conference: a project led by Queanbeyan Multilingual Centre bringing young people from across regional NSW together to stand united against racism and hate.

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Established in 2015, COMPACT has engaged over 50,000 young people, inspiring a new generation of community leaders, critical thinkers and champions for community harmony to stand united against hate. It is a proven model for building social cohesion and community resilience. The NSW Government is investing $3 million each year for three years through the NSW Countering Violent Extremism Program to expand the COMPACT Program from 2021 to 2024.