Media Releases

SSI CEO joins Australia’s top business women

A leadership approach that combines innovation with non-predatory expansion has seen not-for-profit CEO Violet Roumeliotis recognised as one of Australia’s top business women.

On Friday at the NSW Telstra Business Women’s Awards, Ms Roumeliotis was selected in the ‘For Purpose and Social Enterprise’ category as the state representative who will go on to the national awards. She was one of 24 NSW finalists in the awards, which recognise the achievements of extraordinary business women.

Read more: SSI CEO joins Australia’s top business women

Not-for-profits back new women’s alliance

Not-for-profits from around Australia have banded behind a new national women’s alliance that will champion the unique issues affecting refugee and migrant women.

Launched in Adelaide today by the Federal Minister for Women, Senator Michaelia Cash, the Harmony Alliance: Migrant and Refugee Women for Change is a policy and strategy body that will consult with migrant and refugee women nationally to bring about positive change on the issues that affect them.

Read more: Not-for-profits back new women’s alliance

SSI partners with Allianz on employment program for young refugees

A new program that aims to teach young refugees basic business skills and help them find a job was announced in Sydney today.

The ‘Allianz Ladder’ program will familiarise refugee youth with business environments and help them develop the core skills and confidence they need to find their first job in Australia.

Read more: SSI partners with Allianz on employment program for young refugees

Regional centre of Armidale to welcome refugees

Community support will play a critical role in the successful settlement of an estimated 200 refugees in NSW regional hub Armidale, according to leading humanitarian settlement not-for-profit Settlement Services International (SSI).

Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter, announced on Friday that SSI had been contracted to provide on-the-ground settlement services to an estimated 200 refugees who will settle in Armidale in 2018 as part of the Humanitarian Settlement Program (HSP). SSI was recently successful in obtaining the contract for two of the 11 HSP contract regions: Sydney and NSW regional, which includes Newcastle, Coffs Harbour and the newly defined Armidale refugee settlement area.

Read more: Regional centre of Armidale to welcome refugees

SSI secures new refugee settlement contract

Settlement Services International (SSI) will provide settlement services to refugees and humanitarian entrants under the new Humanitarian Settlement Program (HSP), continuing its long-term work in this area.

In Canberra today, the Australian Government announced SSI was successful in two of the 11 newly defined contract regions across Australia: Sydney and NSW Regional, which covers northern NSW.

Read more: SSI secures new refugee settlement contract

Festival gives refugee artists a new beginning

The New Beginnings Festival for Refugee Week brings together new and established communities for a program of visual arts, film, installations and workshops.

The festival will include the Singular/Plural art exhibition, featuring established contemporary artists Lindy Lee, Aroha Groves, Alex Seton and Garry Trinh exhibiting alongside newly arrived artists from refugee backgrounds, including Sameer Dakhil — an expert engraver from Iraq.

Read more: Festival gives refugee artists a new beginning

Freedom of expression vs cultural appropriation

Journalists, comedians and writers will explore the blurry lines between freedom of expression and cultural appropriation at an event that will tip the traditional debate format on its head.

Cultural appropriation controversies continue to dominate headlines, targeting everything from festival wear to the hairstyles of the Kardashians, but critics argue these continual outcries are stifling the creative expression. Should artists be restricted by cultural boundaries when creating their work?

Read more: Freedom of expression vs cultural appropriation

Refugee entrepreneurship making million-dollar economic contribution

A report to be released on Thursday March 23 finds evidence that, with the right support, refugee entrepreneurs provide significant economic benefits to Australia.

The report, From Refugee to Entrepreneur in Three Years, looks at the existing and potential contribution of refugee entrepreneurs to the Australian economy and society. It was prepared by Professor Jock Collins of UTS Business School and will be launched by the Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, the Hon Craig Laundy MP, in Canberra.

Read more: Refugee entrepreneurship making million-dollar economic contribution

SSI's response to Multicultural Australia – United, Strong, Successful

With today’s release of the Multicultural Australia – United, Strong, Successful, Settlement Services International welcomes the Federal Government’s strong and unequivocal endorsement of a multicultural Australia and the highly successful humanitarian settlement and migration programs that have been the centre of that success for more than 70 years.

Read more: SSI's response to Multicultural Australia – United, Strong, Successful

Inclusive celebration captures International Women’s Day spirit

An International Women’s Day event has embodied the inclusive spirit of the day with a celebration involving women, men and children of all ages and backgrounds.

Not-for-profit humanitarian organisation Settlement Services International (SSI) hosted the event for Auburn locals, community groups and individuals and families who are new to Australia.

Read more: Inclusive celebration captures International Women’s Day spirit

Syrian arrivals in Fairfield: sorting fact from fiction

A number of media reports since the start of 2017 have claimed communities in western Sydney are concerned about the arrival of the extra cohort of 12,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees, using figures that are not supported by facts. 

As one of the largest settlement services providers, we know that the main reasons our humanitarian clients choose to settle in an area are: affordability, availability of suitable housing, access to services such as schools, IEC, SSI, and proximity to family.

Read more: Syrian arrivals in Fairfield: sorting fact from fiction

SSI partnership Thrive Refugee Enterprise fast-tracks refugee business plans

A new SSI partnership operating nation-wide will help entrepreneurs from refugee backgrounds fast-track their business plans and achieve their goal of establishing a successful business in Australia.

SSI has partnered with Thrive Refugee Enterprise, which aims to support the entrepreneurial spirit of refugees by providing microfinancing and mentoring support to aspiring business owners from refugee backgrounds.

Read more: SSI partnership Thrive Refugee Enterprise fast-tracks refugee business plans

Youth symposium supports multicultural youth to break through barriers in education system

Multicultural youth from across Greater Western Sydney came together for the 20 Voices Youth Symposium on Education yesterday to break through barriers in Australia’s education system and build solid foundations for their future.

Hosted by the Youth Collective, the 20 Voices Youth Symposium provided a forum for young people to share skills and experiences, build new networks, and learn how to navigate the education system to work towards their career goals.

Read more: Youth symposium supports multicultural youth to break through barriers in education system

Five stars for SSI jobactive

Amina Khatoon has found her first job and Cicilia Rigas was employed after just two months with the Settlement Services International (SSI) jobactive service.

These are just two examples of why SSI has again been awarded a five star rating by the Department of Employment for its efficiency and effectiveness in placing job seekers into sustainable work.

Read more: Five stars for SSI jobactive

Conference to challenge thinking about multicultural women

Politicians, practitioners and women from diverse backgrounds will this week take part in a dialogue designed to drive social and economic change for multicultural women.

The inaugural National Multicultural Women’s Conference 2016 – Influencing Change: Vision and Impact (NMWC) will showcase the resilience and strength of women from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds, and discuss effective strategies, services, programs and approaches for supporting them in Australia.

Read more: Conference to challenge thinking about multicultural women

SSI Ability Links helps North Ryde resident pursue his sporting passion

Despite his mobility restrictions caused by cerebral palsy, North Ryde long term resident Brett Dyer isn’t the type who gets intimidated by day to day challenges.

“I live by myself and when I’m at home I use a walking stick,” said Mr Dyer. “Outside, I use a scooter to get around and I’m pretty good with it. I use it even if I have to go far, like Macquarie Park.”

Therefore, when he was told he couldn’t play lawn bowls at his local bowling club, he teamed up with his local Linker Ms Hiroko Kawashima from Settlement Services International (SSI) and his Occupational Therapist (OT) from the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Michelle Cohen, to find a solution.

Read more: SSI Ability Links helps North Ryde resident pursue his sporting passion

It’s time to Walk Together

Thousands of Sydney-siders will stand up for a more compassionate, generous and welcoming Australia at Walk Together 2016, in Sydney this Saturday.

Not-for-profit humanitarian organisation Settlement Services International (SSI) has partnered with Welcome to Australia to host the Sydney arm of the national diversity celebrations, which will take place in capital cities and regional centres all over Australia on Saturday October 22.

Read more: It’s time to Walk Together

Youth take over Auburn Centre for Community

Young people from all walks of life will take over the Auburn Centre for Community next Wednesday for the annual MY Kitchen Rocks event.

Now in its second year, Multicultural Youth (MY) Kitchen Rocks is an opportunity for young people from diverse backgrounds to make new friends and take part in activities including sports, candle making and music workshops.

Read more: Youth take over Auburn Centre for Community

SSI welcomes Prime Minister Turnbull's announcement on refugee settlement

SSI enthusiastically welcomes Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s announcement that the government will permanently maintain Australia’s commitment to settle 18,750 refugees a year from 2018. This provides assurance that Australia will continue to settle a significant number of people and families fleeing conflict zones, saving many lives.

Read more: SSI welcomes Prime Minister Turnbull's announcement on refugee settlement

New Scholarships for Refugees

Young refugees needing help with their school education and adults seeking local recognition for their qualifications will be among those eligible for new scholarships worth more than $90,000. 

Allianz Australia and not-for-profit humanitarian organisation Settlement Services International (SSI) are offering the scholarships to help refugees settle in the community.

Read more: New Scholarships for Refugees

Settlement sector collaborates with police to help refugees

Settlement Services International (SSI) has joined with the NSW Police Force to develop solutions that will help refugees and people seeking asylum connect with police officers on a human level.

Representatives from the NSW Police Force, the settlement sector, community associations and leaders, gathered yesterday at SSI’s head office in Sydney for a roundtable event designed to enhance understanding between police officers and the workers who support refugees and people seeking asylum.

Read more: Settlement sector collaborates with police to help refugees

Conference to influence change for multicultural women

Leading academics and politicians will come together at an innovative new conference in November, designed to drive change for multicultural women.

The National Multicultural Women’s Conference 2016 – Influencing Change: Vision and Impact (NMWC) will create a platform for sharing knowledge and celebrating the outstanding contributions women from diverse backgrounds make to our society.

Read more: Conference to influence change for multicultural women

Arts and refugees meet in inaugural forum

An unprecedented state-wide discussion about refugee-related arts practice will take centre stage at an event that connects practitioners working at the intersection between the arts and refugees.

Held from August 19–20 at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (CPAC), the inaugural Arts and Refugees Forum will create a space for artists, community development workers, educators, and arts and humanitarian organisations to share their experiences and discuss various aspects of artistic practice by, with and about refugees.

Read more: Arts and refugees meet in inaugural forum

Celebrating refugee contributions more important than ever

Record-breaking numbers of forcibly displaced people worldwide have increased the importance of this week’s Refugee Week celebrations, according to Settlement Services International (SSI) CEO Violet Roumeliotis.

The annual celebration of the courage and contribution of refugees would be a particularly poignant occasion this year in light of the staggering number of refugees and other forcibly displaced people around the world, she said.

Read more: Celebrating refugee contributions more important than ever