The SPN teleconference held on 3 April 2013 focused on the implications of recent changes to Australia’s policies on humanitarian family reunion, stemming from the recommendations of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers. The aim of the teleconference was to assist service providers to offer constructive advice to clients on family reunion options. The teleconference also provided an opportunity to discuss issues and challenges faced by refugee and humanitarian entrants seeking to reunite with their families through the Special Humanitarian Program (SHP) and the family stream of the Migration Program.
‘Symbols of Hope’ is inspired by the tireless work of Paul and Robbin Moulds. In partnering with The Pure Collective, ‘Symbols of Hope’ is a pilot program, which aims to empower people who have fallen through the gaps in the system by providing community driven scholarships.
The community-driven scholarships will be offered initially in conjunction with the current core services provided by the Asylum Seeker Project, which is run by The Salvation Army in Auburn.
The ‘Symbols of Hope’ pilot program is focused on crisis situations, in particular addressing the needs of:
- Newly arrived people in Australia who do not have work rights and/or access to Commonwealth government support;
- Women who are trapped in abusive relationships due to dependency on a spouse visa and therefore in fear of deportation.
After the pilot phase, the program will look to incorporate other marginalized and disadvantaged groups in our society, with a view to supporting:
- Indigenous people
- Homeless or long-term unemployed people
- Other vulnerable migrants
- At-risk youth
Through skills development, education and training, this program opens up an avenue of hope for them to build new opportunities in their lives.
Participants are assessed and chosen on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of Paul and Robbin Moulds, who currently work within one of the most multicultural communities in Australia. The Pure Collective also takes guidance from Jane Tewson and the team at Igniting Change for inclusion of other students from their affiliated grassroots organisations.
The hospitality training program will be centered at Gratia Café and Folonomo Restaurant in Surry Hills and Symbol Café in North Sydney, with a dedicated trainer to oversee learning at these venues and educate participants about workplace expectations to help prepare them for employment.
‘Symbols of Hope’ was designed to provide an avenue for some of the most vulnerable members of our community, refugees and asylum seekers, to allow them to showcase their resilience. Arriving in Australia, after you have already lost your home, country and family, should be the first step in healing. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many new arrivals who fall through the support system of the government (or are forcibly stopped from supporting themselves due to government policy). The struggles refugees face when trying to build a new life often become a second layer of trauma. It is for this reason, that Symbols of Hope exists.
The scholarships include a hospitality training program, which will prepare students for employment and provides the ability to work and earn an income in hospitality. This will allow participants to pursue longer-term career aspirations or further education. Participants will also have access to a wide range of additional services offered through the broader Pure Collective community – from work-readiness and financial literacy workshops, to bushwalking and yoga. The program also provides housing, basic needs, travel costs, food, uniforms and footwear, along with access to other classes and services.
As part of their impact model, 100% of profits are donated to a range of causes and programs. This includes direct impact chosen by customers, and other philanthropic initiatives like Symbols of Hope, through the Pure Foundation and partners like the Salvation Army Auburn.
With the profits made this year, ‘Symbols of Hope’ have been able to commit in directing $25 000 to co-funding the Symbols of Hope program.
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