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Creating Sustainable Employment for Refugees

Community Development Seminar held on 23 April 2015

About Bright Employment and Tim Davies

Bright Employment helps migrants living in Australia with training and assists them to secure meaningful employment in Agriculture and Hospitality. It operates by using a labour hire structure to help Australian companies easily access hard-working, skilled labour from local migrant communities. In 2015, Bright Employment will provide 300 workers to the Tasmanian agricultural sector, and 150 workers into commercial kitchens in Sydney. Tim Davies is the founder and CEO of Bright Employment.

Watch the presentation video


About The Social Outfit and Jackie Ruddock

The Social Outfit works to increase employment, education and empowerment opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds and new migrant communities in fashion and the design industries. They manufacture quality garments from their community studio at their store in Newtown. They also run a sewing school onsite teaching about industrial sewing and Australian manufacturing standards. Jackie Ruddock is the CEO of The Social Outfit.

Watch the presentation video


About The Bread and Butter Project and Kayleigh Ellis

The Bread and Butter Project is a social enterprise that provides training and employment opportunities to refugees and asylum seekers. Their 12-month work-based training program provides trainees with paid work experience, knowledge of Australian workplace standards and culture, and a TAFE accredited qualification in baking to be ready to move into sustainable employment. Kayleigh Ellis is the Trainee Support Manager and is responsible for recruitment and support of trainee bakers.

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About STARTTS and Des Dejrangsi

STARTTS is a specialist, non-profit organisation that for the past 26 years has provided culturally appropriate and cutting edge psychological treatment and support to help people heal the scars of refugee trauma and rebuild their lives in Australia. STARTTS’ Enterprise Facilitation project supports the creation of wealth within refugee communities by nurturing the resourcefulness of its people through the development of small business enterprises. C.Des Dejrangsi has been STARTTS’ Enterprise Facilitator since 2013.

Watch the presentation video


Seminar outline

Income generation programs with a social conscience – better known as enterprise facilitation projects and social enterprise initiatives – are being adapted for people from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds. Yet how successful are these programs in meeting the needs of those communities and providing sustainable employment pathways?  What is good practice and is it possible to engage in these programs but also be profit driven?This seminar presented four programs engaging Australian refugee communities in such projects. Speakers from The Bread and Butter Project, Bright Employment, Social Outfit and the Enterprise Facilitation Program at STARTTS presented their current programs and cast a critical eye over the social enterprise and small business creation landscape. The full day program provided a range of perspectives and ideas for people interested in their own social enterprise projects and small business creation alongside service providers looking for employment opportunities and income generation for their clients.

Watch the Q & A video