Media Releases

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

Renowned world music orchestra to showcase refugee talent at New Beginnings

Renowned performers from one of Sydney’s leading world music groups will showcase the talents of multicultural artists and help to shift negative perceptions about multiculturalism in Australia at NSW’s leading festival celebrating refugee arts and culture.

Read more: Renowned world music orchestra to showcase refugee talent at New Beginnings

Volunteers make a difference

The generosity of everyday Australians is significantly improving the experiences of refugees and people seeking asylum living in the Australian community, according to a leader from the humanitarian settlement sector.

Speaking at the start of National Volunteer Week, Settlement Services International (SSI) CEO Violet Roumeliotis said the actions of volunteers had a profound effect on the lives of people fleeing war and persecution.

Read more: Volunteers make a difference

Leading cultural performers named in New Beginnings 2016 line up

Leading artists from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds will showcase their talents at NSW’s leading festival celebrating refugee arts and culture.

Confirmed artists for the expanded 2016 New Beginnings: Refugee Arts & Culture Festival will impress audiences with performances and workshops that draw inspiration from the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia and more.

Read more: Leading cultural performers named in New Beginnings 2016 line up

New Beginnings: Refugee Arts & Culture Festival ramps up in 2016

NSW’s premier festival celebrating the cultural heritage and artistic talents of people from refugee backgrounds will be bigger than ever in 2016.

Following the stand out success of the inaugural New Beginnings: Refugee Arts & Culture Festival last year, the 2016 program has expanded to feature three separate events across Sydney both during and after Refugee Week.

Read more: New Beginnings: Refugee Arts & Culture Festival ramps up in 2016

Settlement Services International supports Premier’s Harmony Dinner

Settlement Services International (SSI) is proud to sponsor the 2016 Premier’s Harmony Dinner, and support the celebration of cultural diversity in NSW.

SSI is a community-based, not-for-profit humanitarian organisation providing a range of services in the areas of humanitarian settlement, accommodation, asylum seeker assistance, multicultural foster care, disability support and employment services in NSW.

Read more: Settlement Services International supports Premier’s Harmony Dinner

Innovative partnership creates new opportunities for refugees

An innovative partnership between Allianz Australia and Settlement Services International (SSI) will deliver new career opportunities and support for refugees and migrants who have settled in Australia.

Today’s joint announcement by Allianz Australia Managing Director Niran Peiris and SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis coincides with the first week on the job for five recruits under the partnership employment program. The partnership aims to improve employment and educational opportunities for SSI clients as well as enhancing workforce diversity at Allianz.

Read more: Innovative partnership creates new opportunities for refugees

CoAct/SSI Work for the Dole participants confident of their job prospects

Before taking part in the Staples Bag SSI Work for the Dole program, Campsie resident Marcel Tawbeh would never have considered working in retail.

“I was shy and lacked confidence, and thought I would only be able to work in the background,” Mr Tawbeh said.

Read more: CoAct/SSI Work for the Dole participants confident of their job prospects