Empowering Communities funding aims to support community designed and delivered initiatives that take an innovative approach to address local issues around community safety, connection, access and support.

As part of the Empowering Communities Partnership, a total of $500,000 was  invested back into community identified, led and supported projects focused on how to tackle local issues that impact on crime and safety. The program is implemented in stages over a three year period.

The funding was distributed through a community grants program, with successfully funded initiatives given until the end of June 2024 to complete their projects.

For more info about Empowering Communities, download the fact sheet below, or email Council at empoweringcommunities@shepparton.vic.gov.au

Learn more about the Empowering Communities project.

PDF, 230 KB

The Greater Shepparton Local Action Group

The Greater Shepparton Local Action Group was established in June 2022, bringing together key services and other stakeholders. The Action Group is responsible for connecting the initiative to the broader community and overseeing its implementation.

Local Action Group members

The following organisations and stakeholders are represented on the Action Group:

  • Greater Shepparton City Council
  • Victoria Police
  • Junction Connection
  • Mooroopna Community & Education Centre
  • Koorie Education Children’s Court Liaison Officer
  • Rumbulara Aboriginal Co-operative
  • Shepparton English Language Centre
  • LGBTQIA+ community member
  • Greater Shepparton Secondary College
  • Committee of Greater Shepparton
  • Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project
  • Berry Street
  • Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District Inc
  • Goulburn Valley Health
  • Department of Justice & Community Safety
  • Department of Education & Training

Learn more about the Greater Shepparton Local Action Group

The Action Plan

The Local Action Group created a common goal – this common goal is something each project must incorporate in the delivering of their projects.

COMMON GOAL: The Empowering Communities Project - Greater Shepparton will have the primary focus on community where, as its core, each initiative improves safety outcomes for young people aged 0-24.

Download the Greater Shepparton Empowering Communities Project – Action Plan below to see all goals and measures across the four domains of focus: Connection, Support, Access and Safety.

Funded initiatives

Our grant round had a total of eight projects which have been funded. Please read below for details about each project and the organisations which have been funded.

Masomo Mbele Foundation


The Masomo Mbele (School First) Foundation provides specialised services to the Africans and Australians’ children, youth, parents, and community in Greater Shepparton. We build up communities by educating, advocating for, and providing early detection, preventive, and intervention programs in the areas of education, culture differences, employment, housing, health, social inclusion, family violence prevention, mental health, one on one therapy, safety, and career development.

We aim to increase education opportunities and amplify the voices of youth from diverse backgrounds and wider communities to have a voice, heard and listening to. We want young people to have a sense of hope and identity, and to overcome enormous challenges to build a greater life in Australia and contribute something to the community and to Australian society while also give back to those in need in developing nations.

Funded Project: Echo Hope Program

Four unique programs will be delivered to support young refugees with a focus on sharing stories, legal education and English language classes, homework club and ICT support and building employment skills.

Contact details

Declo Bisimwa
Ph: 0459 999 813
Email: masomombelefoundation@gmail.com 
Website: masomombelefoundation.org

Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project


The Family Haven provides a safe space where parents and carers and  their  children are welcomed with no referral or appointment. It is located in the same premises as the Mooroopna Anglican Church at 15-17 Young Street, Mooroopna (the old SPC canteen) and is open Tuesday to Thursday from 10am - 2pm. 

Parents and children can relax, engage with staff and volunteers, share a meal and connect with other parents.  The focus is on play and fun.  The Family Haven also offers transport and is able to pick families and children up and drop them home. 

Funded Project: Life Links Coordinator

A Life Links Coordinator will be employed at the Family Haven in Mooroopna. This role will provide specialised and individual support to young people and guardians of young people to navigate services, respond to challenges and provide mentorship.

Contact details

Courtney Wilson
Ph: 0428 736 961
Email: cwilson@gslp.com.au 
Website: gslp.com.au 

Giz a Break


We're an innovative, award winning registered health promotion charity that wraps mental and physical health and wellbeing initiatives into an off-road touring format. We work with individuals, groups, and communities to foster a more connected, inclusive, and caring society. Established in late 2019, we're quite small but growing. We currently have a full time and two part-time casual staff and 12 volunteers. Our board consists of volunteers and we rely on volunteers to assist us in the delivery of our multi-day camps. About a third of our funding comes from donations, a third from grants, and a third from the NDIS.

Project Funded: Justice Diversion Program

Delivery of a one year justice diversion program for 14-17 year olds, referred by members of the Hume Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee, through adventure four-wheel drive camps.

Contact details

Sonke Tremper
Ph: 0401 833 110
Email: engage@gizabreak.org.au 
Website gizabreak.org.au 

International Association for Psychiatric Nurses


Mental Health First Aid® Australia offers a range of comprehensive skills based early-intervention courses. All our courses are based on guidelines developed through the expert consensus of people with lived experience of mental health problems and mental health professionals.

Our courses teach participants about the signs and symptoms of mental health literacy and teach the practical skills needed to support someone experiencing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis until appropriate professional help is received or the crisis resolves.

Mental Health First Aid training course participants also learn about the types of help and supports available and how to help someone access the support they need.

Project Funded: Mental Health First Aid Training

This project will provide free internationally recognised training in Youth Mental Health First Aid for groups and individuals. The program will support those working or living with adolescents including parents, school staff, sports coaches and youth workers.

Contact details

Charles Oguntade
Email: lolowayconsult@gmail.com
Website: mhfa.com.au 

Mooroopna Education and Activity Centre


The Mooroopna HUB is an impressive community resource where you can:

  • meet, talk and make friends;
  • develop new skills; 
  • engage in life-long learning; 
  • volunteer; 
  • find out about other local services or activities; and
  • take up an activity for fun and enjoyment. 

We also have rooms for hire. The Mooroopna Education & Activity Centre is supported by the Victorian Government. Take the time to drop in and discover all the services on offer.

Funded Project: Art Mural

Mooroopna Education and Activity Centre will work with local vulnerable and disengaged youth as well as collaborating with community leaders with the aim of combatting graffiti, increasing town pride and building relationships between participants.

Contact details

Jan Phillips
Ph: 5825 1774
Email: admin@meac.com.au 
Website: meac.com.au 

Umoja Empowerment Group


We are dedicated to empowering individuals and families from refugee backgrounds to thrive and succeed in their new lives. With a strong commitment to community support and advocacy, we work tirelessly to provide comprehensive services that promote independence, integration, and self-reliance.

Funded Project: English Lessons

The Umoja Empowerment Group will provide English lessons to support young people in learning the language of job applications, how to effectively convey their skills in a job interview and how to write essays clearly in school.

Contact details

Furaha Baguma
Ph: 0467 081 470
Email: info@umoja-egroup.org 
Website: umoja-egroup.org 

Secure Shepp Kids


Introducing the Circle of Security Parenting Program: Building Stronger Bonds, Nurturing Happier Families and helping kids feel safer in their world!

Are you looking to enhance your parenting skills and create a loving, secure, and supportive environment for your child? Look no further than the Circle of Security Parenting Program! We are thrilled to present a transformative and evidence-based program designed to empower parents and caregivers with invaluable tools to strengthen the parent-child relationship. 

Funded Project: Circle of Security Parenting Program

The Secure Shepp Kids Project endeavours to support children and parents by promoting emotional security. Circle of Security® is for parents and carers of children aged 0 to 12 years old who would like to develop secure relationship bonds with their children to help them thrive.

Contact details

Tahna Leader
Ph: 0466 508 614
Email: securesheppkids@kiallaplaytherapy.com.au 
Website: securesheppkids.org 

Goulburn Valley Gangaru Parasports


The benefits of participating in sport go beyond learning new physical skills. Actively participating in Sport will help you develop better ways to cope with the highs and lows of life. When you are playing sport, sometimes you will win, while at other you will lose. Being a good loser takes maturity and practice. Losing teaches us to overcome disappointment, cope with unpleasant experiences and is an important part of becoming resilient.

Playing sport helps us learn to control our emotions and channel negative feelings in a healthy way. It also helps us develop patience and understand that it can take a lot of practice to improve your overall skills.

Certainly, you can then apply skills like perseverance and resilience in all other areas of your life, including in at home, with friends and other social interactions.

Funded Project:

Adaptive Sports Programs: GV Gangaru Parasports will purchase specialised equipment that will support young people to participate in disability sporting programs.

Contact details

Simon Fox
Ph: 0452 098 650
Email: GVGangarru@outlook.com