The 2016-17 Victorian State Budget allocated $1.5 million to employ a network of Strategic Engagement Coordinators. There will be eleven Strategic Engagement Coordinators employed across Victoria. The Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District has one Strategic Engagement Coordinator on staff.
While the Strategic Engagement Coordinator positions are funded by the Victorian Government, each Strategic Engagement Coordinator is employed by the lead Strategic Partner organisation in each region. The Strategic Engagement Coordinator for the Goulburn Region is Mr Sam Atukorala.
Strategic Engagement Coordinators and the Department of Premier and Cabinet will focus on the common aim: “To strengthen settlement outcomes with a stronger community engagement approach to engage multicultural communities across Victoria.”
Strategic Engagement Coordinators will strengthen community engagement, social inclusion, economic participation and settlement outcomes, through:
- Strengthening existing programs, by gaining a better understanding of the needs and concerns of communities in their region.
- Developing partnerships with key agencies, NGOs and the three tiers of government.
- Dialogue and collaboration with local communities, funded agencies, service providers, other non-government organisations and all levels of government.
- Better coordinated support of existing programs.
- Liaising with Department of Premier and Cabinet to strengthen policy advice, service gaps and improve programmatic coordination.
While Strategic Engagement Coordinators will work closely with the Strategic Partnership organisations, and in support of the objectives of these Partnerships, their work plans will not include roles or responsibilities that are required to be executed under the Strategic Partnership funding agreements.
Strategic Engagement Coordinators have multitasking roles and engage in communication, sharing of information, collaborative relationships with Multicultural Affairs and Social Cohesion within the Department of Premier and Cabinet, other Strategic Engagement Coordinators and stakeholders. This role involves community consultation, service mapping, identification of gaps in delivery, advocacy, flexibility and adaptability. It is a task that engages clear lines of feedback and feeding works, initiatives to stakeholders and the media.