Jesuit Social Services welcomes the opportunity to comment on the draft Victorian African Communities Action Plan. We commend the Government on taking this proactive step, in close collaboration with local communities, towards creating more inclusive economic and social opportunities for all African Victorians.
Jesuit Social Services recognises and affirms the significant economic and social contribution that African communities have already made to Victoria. The presence of African communities has broadened our cultural diversity and enriched our social fabric.
For those who have arrived as humanitarian entrants, we acknowledge that their contribution has, remarkably, often taken place against the adversity of forced displacement and the challenges of resettlement in an unfamiliar country. We regret that African communities in Victoria can often be marginalised through media misreporting and the politicisation of migration, which can feed unfounded community fears.
In our submission we highlight ways to address unique barriers to inclusion. This includes: