At Settlement Services International (SSI), the Community Engagement team creates pathways to meaningful engagement and inclusion in the Australian community. We are informed by community voice and achieve our goals through our community based initiatives, developing community leadership and building capacity, stakeholder engagement, multicultural disability inclusion, our arts and culture program and our volunteer program.
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Our community based initiatives are not only a space where SSI leads and demonstrates social inclusion, but are representative of SSI’s values and goals. Our initiatives foster a spirit of community belonging and welcome, while also being strategic in supporting communities we work with in the ways that they need.
The Garden Playgroup is a weekly playgroup for families to come together and take part in fun activities and meet new people. We are creating a safe place for families to connect and bond. We reduce social isolation by facilitating interaction where families from varied backgrounds meet and learn from each other.
We want to encourage CALD families to read and play with their children - building their interpersonal and communication skills. It is beneficial to families who have limited family or social support and it is a fantastic way for parents to find new ways to connect with their children.
Click here to see what’s coming up on our blog!
When: Every Wednesday, 10am - 12pm
Where: Auburn Centre for Community, 44A Macquarie Road Auburn
The Welcome Project builds a sense of belonging and connection for newcomers to Australia. It connects local volunteer Welcome Ambassadors (established residents of the region) to newcomer families and individuals (from refugee backgrounds).
Welcome Ambassadors support newcomers to explore their new community by visiting different sites and activities across their region. The project is unique in that it tailors the activities according to the Ambassadors and individuals interests to make interactions meaningful.
Newcomers build their confidence while making connections with new people. The aim is to encourage intercultural dialogue and cross-cultural relationships.
Community stakeholders are partners and support through connections to local activities and sites or hosting events. They
include Local Governments, businesses, community groups and organisations and many others.
How to get involved:
- Become a Welcome Ambassador
Partner with us to host an activity or event
More than just a meal!: At Community Kitchen people from different backgrounds and cultures share and learn from one another in a welcoming and fun community space. The community celebrates fortnightly events throughout the year with workshops, performance, activities, music and incredible food – every event is unique. In the 5 years of this initiative, the kitchen has served over 18,000 meals.
"Here I can talk to so many people from different parts of the world and always find something in common. We are all brothers and sisters here, this is my Australian family"
When: Every second Wednesday, 11am - 2pm
Where: Auburn Centre for Community, 44A Macquarie Road Auburn
Arts and Culture Program
The Arts and Culture program is inspired by the belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to develop their creative potential and participate meaningfully in the cultural life of the community— no matter where they come from, what language they speak, or their level of ability. The Arts and Culture program uses a number of innovative initiatives to accomplish this aim. Learn more.
Leadership Development and Capacity Building
The Community Engagement team are always looking for ways to facilitate people and communities to achieve their aspirations, we want to pave the way for self representation and self determination. We sponsor and assist with third party events and projects, while supporting our community with internal projects like the Speakers Bureau and the Community Innovation Fund.
We believe in our community’s capacity to celebrate, provide support and be welcoming of newcomers and the broader community. If you have an idea that needs to be sponsored, please fill out our sponsorship form here.
One in five Australians identify as living with disability. A quarter of these, approximately 350,000 people in NSW, are from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. Multicultural disability inclusion initiatives support connections with the CALD community and local government Disability Inclusion strategies as well as facilitate employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
The community engagement team strives to engage key stakeholders in the communities we work with, civic society, governments and businesses. We are proud of our diverse stakeholder relationships and have partnerships and are always looking for new people, groups and organisations to engage with.
Volunteers, Students and Interns
The SSI Volunteer Program provides opportunities for members of the broader community to engage in SSI’s Mission. Volunteering is purposeful engagement that adds value to how programs are delivered and enhances a client’s experience in the community. For current volunteer opportunities, click here.
This is a special opportunity for corporate volunteers to work alongside clients, SSI volunteers and other community members with a focus on intercultural exchange. SSI has facilitated meaningful participation by big businesses like Allianz and CEB in the past and are always looking for innovative opportunities to engage with our corporate stakeholders. Click here to learn more about corporate volunteering.
At SSI we have a regular intake of university and TAFE students for placements in various areas of the organisation. If you are interested in doing a placement at SSI, ensure that you submit an application well in advance of a possible starting date to allow time to properly consider your application.
Internships can suit recently-graduated, almost-graduated, or postgraduate students who want to build their industry exposure outside of the course requirements of an educational institution. Interns generally progress time-limited projects or scope work for larger projects in which they have an interest, supervised by a senior member of SSI staff.