Community organisations across Victoria will be empowered to create a healthier future for young people through JumpStart! launched today by health promotion foundation VicHealth.

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JumpStart! aims to build vibrant communities by creating hundreds of community-led food, art and play initiatives for young Victorians, whose lives have been hard hit by coronavirus.


VicHealth will create an alliance of local groups, partnering with them to support children and young people so they can thrive, connect and grow in the wake of the pandemic.


Organisations are encouraged to apply now for JumpStart! which offers a share of $2 million plus assistance to make local projects the best they can be through capacity building, connection with like-minded leaders, resources and access to shared insights from other communities.


JumpStart! is the second major investment in VicHealth’s Future Healthy initiative targeted at Victorians aged 0-25, including families.

According to VicHealth research1:

  • 71 per cent of young people say staying socially connected has become one of the most important issues for them during Covid-19 while 84 per cent say being socially connected is vital for their mental wellbeing
  • 76 per cent say having access to healthy food near home is one of the most important things to them
  • 69 per cent say having no sports or activities they enjoy near home impacts on their physical activity

Young Victorians have spoken. And we’ve listened,” said Sarah Loh, VicHealth’s Executive Manager of Future Healthy.The past two years have been incredibly challenging to say the least, with so much time spent indoors

Children and young people need more opportunities to have fun, be physically active and hang out with friends again.


We want to make this easier by helping them reconnect in ways that suit them. That might be through art, play or learning more about their own food culture together.


“Were keen to hear from local groups who share this vision so we can bring their ideas to life. Through JumpStart! we will fund hundreds of grassroots projects across the state.


Our main focus is on children and young people who face the greatest barriers to reaching their full health potential – whether that be family income, cultural background, postcode, gender or disability.


JumpStart! applicants will need to show how they can create opportunities for children and young people to do one or more of the following:

  • Connect through arts, cultural and play-based activities

  • Learn about their own food culture and identity and share this with others

  • Get physically active in welcoming and inclusive places


JumpStart! has been welcomed by Zarah Jali from Cranbourne, one of VicHealth’s Future Healthy Community Champions.


“I think for young people, having social programs and activities that reignite our passions and interests will allow us the opportunity to find a sense of community again and rebuild our confidence about going back into society,” she said.


As part of Future Healthy, VicHealth is working with 14 Community Champions – a diverse group of young people and parents across Victoria who are passionate about creating healthier communities. The Community Champions will encourage more young people and parents to have their say and help shape the solutions needed for people to lead healthier, happier lives.


See Zahra’s story and meet our other Community Champions


About JumpStart!

JumpStart! is the second major investment delivered through VicHealth’s Future Healthy initiative. Launched in September 2021, Future Healthy is investing $45 million in new programs over three years to support people aged 0-25 to build back better, reconnect socially and safely, get active, and enjoy good food. 


Submit your JumpStart! application from 6:00am Tuesday 15 February. Applications close 11:59pm, Thursday 17 March 2022. There will be a second round opening in July.


A simple application process has been created, supported by free online sessions. Find out more and apply at


About Future Healthy 

Launched in September 2021, Future Healthy is a ground-breaking initiative focused on creating a healthier future for Victoria’s young people. As coronavirus continues to affect the health and wellbeing of young people, Future Healthy will invest $45million in new programs over 3 years to support people aged 0-25 to begin to build back better: reconnect socially and safely, get active, and access and enjoy good food. Learn more at


MEDIA CONTACT: Tony Wells, PR Lead, 0417 627 916 or [email protected]


  1. Between July and August 2021, VicHealth conducted an online survey of 750 of Victoria’s young people aged 18-25 and 750 of Victoria’s parents and carers of kids aged 6-17. The survey explored their barriers and attitudes towards what makes communities healthy, as well as social connection, physical activity and access to healthy food.