Victorian Arabic Social Services:

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The Victorian Arabic Social Services (VASS) is a critical, State-wide, needs-based community services organisation based in Broadmeadows.

VASS provides a range of services to the Arabic community in Broadmeadows and throughout Victoria. VASS is an open and inclusive organisation, catering to the needs of people and communities from all races, cultures, ethnicities, religions and backgrounds.

The Baillieu government has cut $150,000 funding to VASS designed to expand the intake, assessment and referral services offered by VASS’ family services. This decision was made without even meeting with VASS.

The excuse that the Minister for Community Services, Mary Wooldridge, gave for the funding cut was that VASS is not a “mainstream” community service organisation. This is despite the fact that people from an Arabic-speaking background make up 20% of the population, and that “mainstream” community service providers actually refer clients to VASS for their specialised cultural knowledge and unique approach.

I have called on both the Minister and the Premier to reinstate the $150,000 funding to VASS, and also to guarantee the funding for this essential organisation over the next 4 years.

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