From January 1, 2016, SSI will be the designated National Community Hubs Program (NCHP) Support Agency in NSW, enabling the organisation to extend its existing humanitarian settlement work supporting migrant and refugee families.
SSI staff and volunteer participants at a public Speakers' Series event.
Located in primary schools and a number of community organisations, Community Hubs support migrant and refugee parents and children to navigate the education system, build parenting and family capacity, and promote links between those families and local services and networks. Services within Community Hubs are delivered by part-time hub workers.
The program aims to strengthen social cohesion and inclusion within local communities and deliver outcomes for children, families, schools and the wider community.
Community Hubs is funded by the Australian Government in partnership with the Scanlon Foundation, the Migration Council Australia and the Refuge of Hope. Support Agencies are the link between the national program and the hubs.
There are currently 42 Community Hubs operating in three states (Victoria, Queensland and NSW). In NSW, there are 15 hubs, five in each of the LGAs of Blacktown, Parramatta and Bankstown, located in 11 public schools, one Catholic school and three community centres.
In announcing the partnership today on behalf of SSI, CEO Violet Roumeliotis said: “This exciting new partnership will enable SSI to extend our existing work to support migrant and refugee families in their settlement and adjustment to a new country. We look forward to working under a partnership model with the Scanlon Foundation, government, participating schools and community centres, and other stakeholders in NSW to connect and strengthen these families.”
In a NCHP media release, the National Community Hubs Program Manager, Tony Fry, said: “We are excited to build on SSI’s impressive track record of working with volunteers, community organisations and other stakeholders to provide support and links to activities that help clients to successfully integrate into the Australian community.”
The NCHP release said the Minister for Social Services, The Hon Scott Morrison, recently announced grants to help newly arrived migrants and refugees become active and fully participating members of the community, providing $3.3 million to the National Community Hubs Program over the next three years. The Scanlon Foundation will be providing an ongoing contribution of $1.6 million over this same period, the NCHP said.
The NCHP release included an endorsement of the program by Brent Kunkler, Principal of Chester Hill Public School, who said: “Having been in education for over thirty years I have found that this support strategy engages those who need it the most and gives the “best bang for your buck. Situating it within a public school has enabled the shared use of government re-sources to really make a difference to these families.”
For more information on the hubs, follow this link.
For information about SSI’s involvement in this initiative contact Thanh Nguyen, SSI Senior Project Manager on 0402 771 390.