SSI News Blog

Finding work in Australia remains one of the greatest challenges for newly arrived refugees, but two sisters are helping to break down barriers by connecting refugees with job opportunities in Sydney’s competitive hospitality industry.

Carol and Sharon Salloum run a popular Middle Eastern restaurant in Sydney, following in the footsteps of their parents who migrated to Australia more than 40 years ago.

Salloum sisters
Carol and Sharon Salloum will help refugees in Sydney gain skills in hospitality. 

With well-established connections in the hospitality industry, the sisters are working closely with SSI to identify ways to connect refugees with training and jobs in Australia, particularly refugee women who face a series of challenges readjusting to life in a new country.

“Our aim is to work closely with our friends at SSI to address the training and employment needs of refugees who are keen to work in the hospitality industry,” Sharon Salloum said.

Both sisters are hopeful that others will share their passion to help those in need. Discussions with SSI to connect the sisters’ talents, skills and networks with newly arrived refugees living in the community are ongoing.

Plans to facilitate a hospitality course for newly arrived refugees at fortnightly Community Kitchen events are also underway, in collaboration with food writers Melissa Leong and John Newton, and high profile chef Hugh Foster.

SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis applauded the sisters’ eagerness to help, and said it sent a strong message of support to the broader community.

“Employment is an important part of the resettlement journey for refugees; it provides financial independence, helps to build confidence, and provides important social connections that help to build a sense of belonging,” Ms Roumeliotis said.

“We welcome and applaud the Salloum sisters’ passion and enthusiasm for helping vulnerable individuals, and we are delighted to work alongside both Carol and Sharon to create solutions that make a real difference to the lives of refugees in NSW.”

Their work with SSI so far has already benefited many people, with both sisters helping to cook a meal for hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers living in the community at a Community Kitchen event in December. They also donated catering services to support young refugee children at the SSI Children’s Christmas party in December.

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