Community Engagement

Through its extensive work with recently arrived refugees and resettlement programs, Settlement Services International has identified that community acts of welcome and social inclusion are very powerful tools for cultural transition and longer term integration into Australian society.

Volunteers at an SSI Community Kitchen are serving food, dressed in yellow approns.
Volunteers and SSI staff serving asylum seekers at Community Kitchen.

Community Engagement fosters the hope, resilience and determination of individuals and families to contribute and be a part of their community. This self-funded program engages with mainstream society, opening welcoming spaces, inviting empathy, changing the conversation and working for change.

SSI’s regular Community Engagement initiatives include:

  • Community Kitchen: a free multicultural lunch and social day for refugees and people seeking asylum.
  • Playtime: a safe environment for mothers with young children to have a break, make friends and make contact with community organisations.
  • Friendship Garden: where Auburn locals and new community members develop their skills and forge new social connections while nurturing and harvesting fresh produce.
  • Surfing Without Borders: introduces participants to surfing basics and water safety.
  • Sobhia Morning Tea: where families and friends share stories, memories and experiences over morning coffee.
  • Bush Regeneration: volunteers receiving support through SSI’s SRSS program help regenerate bushland and develop a shared sense of purpose.

 Community Innovation Fund

CIF banner 550

SSI has established the Community Innovation Fund to enrich the capacity of community members, leaders and groups to build a stronger, more vibrant and resilient life together in south-west Sydney.

The Fund relies on the community to shape its own priority areas and determine what projects will be delivered. All initiatives supported by the Fund will be driven by the communities it serves to support.

The Fund is sponsored by SSI but seeks to work collaboratively with three members of the NSW Settlement Partnership  (Core Community Services, Liverpool MRC, Melkite Catholic Welfare Association), as well as community leaders and groups.

SSI will invest $50,000 each round towards funding community projects. SSI resources will also support applicants and provide planning and project management tools, coaching and access to SSI facilities as required or requested by the grant recipients.

For the initial round, the Fund will support recently arrived refugee communities of south-west Sydney (Fairfield, Liverpool and surrounds).

See below for Project Proposal Submission Guidelines and the Application Form.

pdfCommunity Innovation Fund Project Proposal Submission Guidelines156.01 KB

pdfCommunity Innovation Fund Application Form112.79 KB