SSI staff made a positive difference in the lives of nearly 27,000 people who came through the doors of the organisation’s four primary offices during the most recent financial reporting period, SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis told SSI’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Sydney last week.
In the last financial year, SSI supported more than 4,200 refugees through the early stages of settlement, connected nearly 10,000 families with their community through Community Hubs Activities, and supported more than 4,700 people with disability towards their goals, according to SSI’s recently released 2017-18 Annual Report.
“More than 1,000 people found work with our help – including 700 people from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds who were supported into paid employment,” said Ms Roumeliotis.
“This work was achieved through the sheer hard work and professionalism of our staff. It was also achieved through the wonderful mechanism called collaboration also known as partnerships, consortiums, MOUs and alliances.
“SSI has always recognised its growth and success is embedded in its relationship with the community, its members and partners, and we thank and acknowledge them once again today.”
During the year, SSI made inroads into new geographic areas, including the opening of its first interstate office in Victoria and the launch of several new offices in regional NSW.
“One particular success story is our office in the new settlement region of Armidale. Almost a year down the track, Armidale is a prime case study for successful regional refugee settlement,” said Ms Roumeliotis.
“This is thanks to our fantastic HSP team, strong community support, and solid engagement with civic leadership and other local stakeholders.”
And much more has also happened at SSI since the conclusion of the financial year, including bringing to Sydney the International Metropolis Conference, which saw more than 800 delegates representing 38 countries in attendance.
“Another exciting development that has been many months in the making is our merger with Access Community Services,” said Ms Roumeliotis.
“A merger with Access enables us to build our collaboration, join resources and extend the reach of our services to provide better outcomes for clients, funding partners and key stakeholders in Queensland.”
SSI’s AGM was preceded by an insightful debate on refugee employment and regional settlement featuring Jack Archer, CEO of the Regional Australia Institute; Lulu Tantos, CEO of Northern Settlement Services; Carmen Garcia, Community Corporate Managing Director; and Sera Kebabjian, a skilled white-collar professional who came to Australia as a refugee from Syria
Read SSI’s 2017-18 Annual Report here.