Media release: Victorian Budget 2021

20 May 2021


Migrant and refugee women will continue to receive much needed in-language health education for migrant and refugee women across the state, after the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health (MCWH) received an additional $200,000 investment in Victoria’s 2021/22 Budget.

MCWH is Victoria’s only migrant and refugee women-run Women’s Health Service, providing critical in-language health education and gender equity programs to migrant women in their language.

Executive Director of MCWH, Dr. Adele Murdolo, said:

‘COVID-19 has been tough on our communities. As we all saw last year, migrant and refugee women put their own health on the line to deliver essential services to Victorians, while services failed to provide accessible in-language information and support to them and their families.’

‘We are pleased that Victoria’s budget has gone some way toward recognising the essential contribution that migrant and refugee women have made and the health inequalities that they continue to face.’

Dr. Murdolo also said the broader investment in Women’s Health Services across Victoria was much needed and a step in the right direction.

‘As one of 12 Victorian Women’s Health Services, the additional investment of $2.4m into the important health promotion work that happens across Victoria is a welcome start. However, the investment in women’s health in this budget remains short term.’

‘Victoria is fortunate to have a network and infrastructure that supports women’s health in every region, and it needs to be adequately funded.’

Dr. Murdolo applauded the $3.8 billion commitment to the Victorian mental health system, as a substantial investment that will make a real difference to peoples’ capacity to prevent and address mental health concerns, but said it remained to be seen if the investment would benefit migrant and refugee women.

‘There is much to be done to ensure that the over one million migrant and refugee women living in Victoria have access to the mental health and women’s health services they need and are supported to recover equitably from the pandemic.’

‘In the area of mental health, the investment does not specifically target migrant women, which means that it will not necessarily reach them in the way it is intended.’

Overall Dr. Murdolo thought the budget delivered positive outcomes for migrant and refugee women living in Victoria, providing a clear pathway to economic and wellbeing recovery.

‘There were significant impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown on so many migrant and refugee women, including poorer mental health, job loss, financial disadvantage and increased risk of family violence.

This budget promises to significantly build the workforces of care industries, creating employment for women, and enhancing the quality of care.’

‘We look forward to working with the Victorian Government to ensure that migrant women are an integral part of Victoria’s road to recovery.’

For media inquiries please contact Dr Adele Murdolo,, 0438 823 299