In 1988, after five years of advocacy by the network, the Victorian Government provided funding to the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (the youth sector peak body) to auspice the Ethnic Youth Issues Network.

In 1987, the WWEYP and the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria approached YACVic to request that it auspice the network, and the Ethnic Youth Issues Network (EYIN) was formed as a discrete entity under the umbrella of YACVic. This move to be housed within the peak body for the Victorian youth sector reflected a considered decision by the youth workers involved in WWEYP to situate their work and focus on ‘ethnic young people’ centrally within the mainstream youth services sector, rather than solely within the multicultural service sector. This would challenge the youth sector to build the capacity to be inclusive and responsive to the needs of culturally diverse young people. Operating under the auspice of the youth sector peak body, EYIN was well positioned to build awareness and capacity within the mainstream youth services system and ensure that the perspectives and needs of culturally diverse young people were understood and amplified at a high level across the youth sector. They also provided a bridge of connection between the youth sector and ethno-specific community services, enabling more collaboration and cross-influence between them.

In February 1988, following lobbying by YACVic and members of the network, a grant was received under a joint funding agreement between the Youth Affairs Division and the Ethnic Affairs Commission for a three-year period for the network. A management committee of representatives from both mainstream and ethno-specific community organisations was formed and in 1988, Carmel Guerra was appointed to the role of Co-ordinator. EYIN was now well placed to build upon the early advocacy of the Workers with Ethnic Young People.

As Co-ordinator, Carmel went about developing a management committee to oversee the network with representatives from government, non-government, ethnic community groups and youth affairs organisations. The Network was made up of ‘individuals and organisations based in the community who are concerned about the well-being of young people from ethnic minority communities.’1 Their core aims were to develop a support base for these workers with young people and to affect policy change and development ‘to ensure it reflects the multicultural nature of our society.’2

Carmel Guerra and Poppy Fotiadis, YACVic Annual Report Carmel Guerra and Poppy Fotiadis, YACVic Annual Report (1989-1990)

1 Guerra, C. 1989. ‘Ethnic youth Issues Network’ Annual Report 1987-89 Youth Affairs Council of Victoria. YACVic. Fitzroy, Victoria. pp 24-25

2 Guerra, C. ‘Ethnic youth Issues Network’ Annual Report 1987-89 Youth Affairs Council of Victoria.