Celebrating 10 years in operation, social enterprise SisterWorks has opened a new cafe and shop in the Richmond suburb of Melbourne, supporting more migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women to find work and rewarding careers.
Victoria’s Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins officially opened the SisterWorks Crafted Culture Cafe and Shop on Bridge Road. It is SisterWorks’ latest initiative to support women from diverse cultural backgrounds by providing hands-on, vocational training and employment opportunities.
Minister Natalie Hutchins said, ‘Migrant, refugee and asylum seeker women bring unique cultural knowledge, skills, abilities, perspectives and connections to our community, which are not only valuable assets to potential employers but also key to overcoming structural barriers to women’s advancement in the workforce.
“I’m delighted to be here today to help officially open the SisterWorks Crafted Culture Café, which will support more women from diverse backgrounds to earn an income, gain work experience and explore entrepreneurship.”
Migrant and refugee women can be excluded from employment opportunities due to a lack of local relevant experience, qualifications and language obstacles.
The Richmond café will employ women who have completed SisterWorks hospitality training, while the shop will showcase the cultural diversity of ‘Sisters’ through flavours and crafts from around the world.
SisterWorks CEO Ifrin Fittock said, “Crafted Culture, our new cafe and shop, is a testament to our strong, culturally sensitive and tailored hospitality and employment service programs.”
“Not only is this a safe place for our migrant and refugee Sisters to practice new vocational skills, but for some of the women, this is their first job in Australia.”
SisterWorks programs have received $1 million for the economic empowerment of migrant and refugee women, as part of the Victorian government’s commitment to addressing structural barriers to women’s participation in the workforce.
Women from culturally diverse backgrounds are overrepresented in insecure and low-paid work. They also experience higher rates of unemployment, with the unemployment rate for Victorian migrant women more than three times higher than for Australian-born women.
SisterWorks has supported more than 2000 migrant, refugee and asylum seeker women from 105 countries to build a better life in Australia through skills training and work opportunities.
The Richmond café and shop joins SisterWorks activities across Victoria, including Empowerment Hubs in Melbourne’s CBD, Bendigo, Dandenong and Abbotsford, where women can connect with each other. SisterWorks also delivers learning opportunities through their Labs: Support, Design, Cooking, Business, Digital and Pathways.
What’s on the Sisterworks Cafe menu?