Last updated: 19 Oct, 2017

Young Victorians will be supported to improve their resilience and social connections with health promotion foundation VicHealth today announcing $750,000 in new funding as part of its Bright Futures Challenge.

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The Bright Futures Challenge aims to get local councils and young people to work together to develop projects that build resilience in young people and grow social connection within their communities.

Councils looking to develop new projects can apply for grants of up to $50,000. Councils can also apply to further develop and implement projects funded in the first 2016 Bright Futures Challenge.  

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter encouraged local councils seeking to work in partnership with young people to apply for the grants which are now open.

“Research shows young Victorians with strong social and support networks are less vulnerable to depression and better able to cope with the ups and downs of life,” Ms Rechter said.

“The Bright Futures Challenge is all about developing locally-driven solutions to support young people to improve their resilience and connect with their community.”

Ms Rechter said the new funding grants will seek to address the upcoming trends that will impact the mental wellbeing of young Victorians over the next 20 years identified in VicHealth and CSIRO’s Bright Futures report.

“Our research shows young people will need to adapt and cope with challenges that are very different to what their parents faced,” Ms Rechter said.

“An increasingly competitive global job market, the continued rise of digital technology, increased automation and over-exposure to online content are emerging issues we need to tackle.

“Through the Bright Futures Challenge we want to see local government work with young people so they are empowered, resilient and prepared for what the future may offer.”

The Bright Futures Challenge will help towards VicHealth’s aim to see 200,000 more Victorians with a greater level of resilience and connectedness by 2023.

Local councils are encouraged to submit their applications by Thursday 9 November 2017. More information can be found at


Media Contact

Rachel Murphy, Senior Media Advisor on 03 9667 1319 or 0435 761 732