Supporting South Sudanese Australian communities through targeted investment

The Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS) is supporting the work of the South Sudanese Australian Youth Justice Expert Working Group (Expert Working Group) through funding to invest in projects that support South Sudanese Australian children and young people.

DJCS will prioritise projects that support South Sudanese Australian children and young people, with the aim of preventing and reducing their contact with the criminal justice system.

This investment recognises that South Sudanese Australian organisations are well-placed to deliver effective and sustainable programs and services.

Current grant round

Applications for a further round of grant funding closed on 7 September 2023.

DJCS is currently assessing applications and will advise applicants of the outcomes shortly.

Previously funded projects

DJCS is supporting the work of the Expert Working Group through funding to invest in projects that support South Sudanese Australian children and young people.

The projects below were awarded through a negotiated grant round held in early 2023.

Organisation: African Youth Initiative
Location: Melton
Grant funding: $150,000


Project: African Youth Partnership

The African Youth Initiative is a partnership supporting the following five projects:

  • Faithful Coalition is a youth-led Christian men’s group with majority South Sudanese Australian membership. Activities include weekly meetings, an annual camp and regular BBQs and sports activities.
  • Girl Chat is a social group for young South Sudanese Australian women which provides a safe space for conversations, networking, and personal development programs.
  • Grace Community is an outreach of Melton Uniting Church with strong connections to the South Sudanese community. Activities include art classes and the Grace Community Youth Basketball Team.
  • Home Court hosts weekly basketball games in Derrimut. It promotes social cohesion and belonging amongst young men through mental health discussions and annual tournaments.
  • African Youth Initiative’s Reclaimed Voices Project is a documentary project involving youth South Sudanese Australian who have had contact with the youth justice system and desisted from offending.

Organisation: Nas Recovery Centre
Location: Cranbourne West and West Metropolitan Melbourne
Grant funding: $100,000


Project: Path2Home

Nas Recovery Centre (NRC) is a community-based alcohol and other drugs and mental health treatment service. NRC will deliver collaborative and culturally determined substance use and related mental health support young people and families from African backgrounds. NRC will also provide access to other services through referrals and collaboration. NRC will deliver:

  • substance use and mental health day rehabilitation programs for people from African backgrounds aged 15 and older. Day programs run on Monday, Wednesday, Friday in Cranbourne West
  • community outreach, in partnership with Project Sunrise, on Thursdays in West Metropolitan Melbourne
  • an online support group for families, friends, and carers
  • collective healing events for community.

Organisation: NextGen Unite
Location: Pakenham
Grant funding: $50,000


Project: Music and Justice to Inspiration​​​​​

NextGen Unite will run the Music and Justice to Inspiration programs weekly in Pakenham.

The NextGen Unite Music program will:

  • provide a safe and supportive environment for South Sudanese Australian and other African Australian youth to develop their skills in producing and mastering music
  • encourage youth to explore their creativity and express themselves through music
  • connect youths with mentors.

The NextGen Unite Justice to Inspiration program will:

  • provide a safe and supportive environment for youth who have been involved in the justice system to develop their storytelling skills
  • help break down stigma and barriers for young people
  • provide access to employment support, mentors, counselling, legal support, and substance use and mental health support services.

Organisation: Stand Out Youth Empowerment
Location: Dandenong and Clyde
Grant funding: $100,000


Project: Stand Out Basketball

Stand Out Basketball is an afterschool basketball and mentoring program for youth. The program also provides access to specialist support services (e.g. counselling and legal support). The activities include:

  • twice weekly basketball training sessions
  • weekly mentoring sessions
  • catering for mentoring/basketball sessions.

Organisation: Sudanese Mothers Coalition
Location: West and South Metropolitan Melbourne
Grant funding: $50,000


Project: Impact Initiative

Impact Initiative will provide funding for South Sudanese mothers to cook together and provide meals to young South Sudanese Australians involved, or at risk of involvement, with youth justice. The Sudanese Mothers Coalition will deliver monthly food relief activities in west and south metropolitan Melbourne over 12 months.

Organisation: South Sudanese Minds
Location: Western Metropolitan Melbourne
Grant funding: $50,000


Projects: Culture Party and Mental Health Training

The Culture Party is an event celebrating South Sudanese Australian talent. The Culture Party will include live interviews with artists and guests about mental health and wellbeing.

Mental Health Training will include:

  • Mindfulness Monday, a regular meeting for young people to check in, reflect on the week and their wellbeing with the support of peers and a counsellor
  • free counselling sessions with an Ethiopian Australian or South Sudanese Australian counsellor for up to 20 South Sudanese Australian young people
  • culturally safe and relevant mental health training for 20 young South Sudanese Australians to create a network of South Sudanese Australians with mental health training.