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Federal Government serves up a second course for vital Mamma’s Kitchen program

Federal Government serves up a second course for vital Mammas Kitchen program

Moonee Valley City Council is partnering with Victoria University and Wingate Avenue Community Centre to deliver a careers advisory program for migrant and refugee women, supported by a $523,974 National Careers Institute Partnership Grants from the Federal Government.

Building on the success of Council’s hospitality-focused employment program, Mamma’s Kitchen, the new careers guidance program will see Council delivering interactive workshops with peer-mentoring and tailored support for migrant and refugee women over an 18-month period, starting from November, 2021.

During Victoria’s 112 day lockdown in 2020, Council established Mamma’s Kitchen through funding from the State Government’s Working for Victoria initiative. The program has so far employed 14 women from the Flemington and Ascot Vale Housing Estates to prepare meals for distribution to residents and families experiencing food insecurity.

Mayor of Moonee Valley, Cr Cam Nation, said the new careers program would empower local women to improve their industry knowledge and networks and achieve their career goals in sectors of their choice.

“Moonee Valley City Council would like to thank the Morrison Federal Government, and in particular The Honourable Stuart Robert, Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, for recognising the importance of our Mamma’s Kitchen program for our Moonee Valley community,” said Mayor Nation.

“The Mamma’s Kitchen program was funded by the Working for Victoria initiative, and with that funding finishing in November, the timing of the National Careers Institute Partnership Grant will allow us to continue to build on the good work of that program.”

“Our Flemington and Ascot Vale communities have been significantly impacted over the past 18 months, with widespread job losses and food insecurity caused by the repeated hard lockdown of the Flemington Housing Estate towers, and the ongoing Stage Four Restrictions.”

“This funding will allow us to work with two organisations that are already delivering great programs, and will address the specific needs of this community in a very meaningful and personal way which will help these residents to rebuild their lives, gain important skills and generate future growth in Moonee Valley.”

Mayor Nation noted that Moonee Valley was the only local government to secure one of the 16 grants awarded in Round Two of the National Careers Institute Partnership program. He called for other funding support to enable Mamma’s Kitchen to continue operating a catering and food relief service, which will otherwise end in November when Working for Victoria concludes.

“Moonee Valley’s success in a very competitive field is a testament to the innovative and impactful nature of our local jobs programs, like Flemington Works and Mamma’s Kitchen,” Mayor Nation said.

“However we still need more support to cover the ongoing operation of Mamma’s Kitchen as a catering and food relief initiative and ensure it has a secure future in our city.”

The National Careers Institute Partnership Grants program provides grants to deliver innovative career guidance services for people at all stages of their careers. The outcomes of the funding program include providing enhanced career pathways that help all people reach their full career potential, increased understanding of skills sought by employers, stronger local collaboration in the delivery of careers guidance and improved quality of locally-based career guidance.

Mamma’s Kitchen is part of Council’s Flemington Works program, which has created 168 employment placements for 101 individuals in the past three years, primarily for women and young people living in the Flemington Housing Estate. It has also supported the establishment of 24 small or micro-businesses and social enterprises.