Media Releases

Festival shatters refugee stereotypes

Artists, craftspeople and gastronomes forging new lives in Australia will take centre stage at a free festival in November that challenges stereotypes about newly arrived communities.

On November 18, Sydney’s iconic Darling Harbour will host the New Beginnings Festival in Spring, where thousands of Sydneysiders will gather to enjoy the musical, culinary and artistic talents of people from refugee and migrant backgrounds.

Read more: Festival shatters refugee stereotypes

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

Success stories

Arzhang's Story

Arzhang Janipour posing in a suit.

I am Arzhang Janipour from Iran, and I’m 28. The reason I left Iran was because I had some problems. Of course I am missing my parents my father my mother, my brothers, my sister, my exercises and wrestling, my friends and my job from back in Iran.

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