Community Engagement

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.

Community-based initiatives

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.



Garden Playgroup

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

Welcome2Sydney

A new project co-designed by City of Sydney and SSI. The project aims to encourage newcomers to explore and develop a sense of belonging in the City of Sydney. Hosted by volunteer Ambassadors who reside in the City of Sydney, welcome activities include social, cultural and recreational activities that match individual interests such as excursions to the Yabun festival, Australia day celebrations, Lunar New year events and Mardi Gras celebrations.

Friendship Garden

The Friendship Garden in Auburn is a SSI Community Engagement initiative in partnership with Cumberland Council. The Friendship Garden welcomes people from diverse backgrounds, languages and ability to work together to build an inclusive and cohesive community. Since 2015, the Friendship Gardeners have transformed barren, disused land to be a green space for community, full of life, vegetables, flowers and friendships. Apart from gardening days which occur every Thursday, SSI organises excursions, workshops and external projects in collaboration with other stakeholders.

When: Every Thursday, 10am - 2pm

Where: Auburn Centre for Community, 44A Macquarie Road Auburn

Community Kitchen

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


Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out more.

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.

Supporting Community

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.

Multicultural Disability Inclusion

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.

Community Innovation Fund

The Community Innovation Fund asks the local community to propose ideas that support newly arrived refugee communities in Liverpool and Fairfield areas. Learn more.

Settlement Services International Speakers Bureau

The Settlement Services International Speakers Bureau gathers, trains and promotes speakers to share purposeful and powerful stories in their own words and with their own voice.


Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out more.

Stakeholder Engagement

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.

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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.

Corporate Volunteers

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.

To enquire about corporate volunteering, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Students and Interns

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.

Express your interest in a student placement by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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.

Express your interest in an internship by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.