Premier Daniel Andrews today attended Celebrate India’s Diwali Festival at Federation Square and announced that Labor will establish Victoria’s first Indian Community Infrastructure Fund and invest a record amount in our state’s community language schools.

Victoria’s Indian communities will get a dedicated fund for community infrastructure including temples, places of worship and community centres, under a re-elected Andrews Labor Government.

The $3 million fund will be dedicated to our state’s Indian communities and their needs, with every Indian community and faith-based group in the state eligible to apply for funding.

More Victorian students learning Indian languages will also share in the benefits of a massive funding boost for community language schools, under a re-elected Labor Government.

Labor will invest a record $7.5 million in our community language schools, which play a vital role in keeping kids connected to their language and heritage. 

Across the state, more than 1,200 students are enrolled at community language schools that teach Punjabi and Tamil. Labor’s funding boost will help children remain connected to traditions and heritage, while also making sure they have the bright future they deserve.

Labor’s funding will also include $50,000 to kick-start the accreditation of Hindi schools.

Labor will also provide $500,000 over four years to Celebrate India for their annual Diwali Festival, giving organisers the certainty they need to make Diwali celebrations bigger and better than ever.

For many Indian Victorians, Diwali is a time to celebrate with family and friends, and highlight the Hindu values of compassion, harmony and respect – values that resonate with all Victorians.

Today’s announcements builds on Labor’s commitment to fund land for Indian aged care and establish a Bollywood and Indian Cinema Attraction Fund, and acknowledges the important role Indian communities play in Victoria.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“Labor believes that – here in the multicultural state – children should be supported to learn their mother-tongue and stay connected to their heritage and traditions.”

“With a dedicated fund, Labor will support our Indian communities in upgrading and enhancing temples and community centres.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“Across the state, more than 1,200 students are enrolled at community language schools that teach Indian languages – Labor wants to grow this number and keep children connected with their culture.”