Secondary students from over 430 schools will be given the opportunity to volunteer and get involved in their local communities in 2017, thanks to a new round of Advance program funding.

Speaking at the Jennings Street School in Laverton today, Minister for Youth Affairs, Jenny Mikakos announced $4.46 million in Advance funding, that will  benefit young people in 2017.

For the first time, the Jennings Street School will receive $9,725 in funding to develop a Cafe program. Students will have the opportunity to gain recognised training while putting their skills to use in volunteering projects in the community.

Advance provides young people with an opportunity to develop practical teamwork, communication and project management skills.

Last year, over 24,000 young people participated in the program, helping them develop important life skills and gain valuable experience to assist in future job or education pursuits.

The funding helps schools connect young people to a range of projects including conservation programs; helping with their local Surf Life Saving Association; running a community radio program; getting involved with emergency services and animal welfare projects.

Last year the Labor Government announced its new Youth Policy: Building Stronger Youth Engagement in Victoria, which focusses on strengthening the relationship between government and young people.

Key actions from the policy include a Youth Summit to be held this Friday, bringing together young people and their ideas from across Victoria and a new Victorian Youth Congress to meet regularly and advise government on key matters affecting young people.

For more information on the Advance program, go to

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos

“The Advance program is about giving young people the opportunity to get actively involved in local initiatives and build connections in their communities.”

“Programs like Advance help young people establish life skills and valuable experience, and at the same time give back to the community.”  

Quote attributable to Member for Altona Jill Hennessy

“I’m excited to follow the experiences and culinary delights the Jennings Street School students produce as they take part in their Café program.”