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SSI Welcome Program

This program supports new arrivals from humanitarian backgrounds by connecting them with established locals to make them feel safe and welcome in their new home. It has encouraged cross-cultural relationships in Australian communities since 2018.

The volunteer Welcome Ambassadors come together with local newcomers to enjoy a group activity based on common interests — be it exploring iconic landmarks, or finding a scenic picnic spot to share a meal. 

The program began as Welcome2Sydney (W2S), co-designed with the City of Sydney, and was then named the Welcome Project. Following its award-winning successes, it evolved into SSI’s Welcome Program to expand into areas outside of Sydney like Coffs Harbour where it launched in June 2022.

We connect newly arrived individuals and families with friendly volunteers.
Newcomers learn more about their new home by visiting cultural sites, historical sites or scenic spots.
Bringing communities together based on common interests encourages cross-cultural connections, trust and friendship — and is a fun day out for everyone!
Group of women looking at the ocean
People sharing a delicious meal
Group of newcomers and SSI volunteers happy together
SSI volunteers and newcomers dancing together
Small children enjoying pizza together at SSI Welcome Program event
Family posing together on a cricket pitch
Children proudly showing the art they created
Two women and child launching at Welcome Project event
Group posing in front of Harbour Bridge in Sydney
SSI Sydney staff and volunteers with refugees

How to get involved

We run activities in Metropolitan Sydney and Coffs Harbour. Here is how to get involved:

  • For newcomers from humanitarian backgrounds, join free events to meet locals or other newcomers in your area
  • Individuals who want to volunteer with refugees can become Welcome Ambassadors
  • Corporate teams can volunteer by hosting a welcome activity for newcomers
  • Community partners can support us through connections to local activities and sites or hosting events. They include local governments, businesses, community groups and organisations and many others

Get in touch

Please email to become part of SSI’s Welcome Program.