Impact & Evidence

“If the philanthropic, government and corporate sectors can combine to deliver services to the community, it’s far more effective than taking an individual silo approach.

And in the end, you get a very high social payback and a very high economic payback.”

Peter Scanlon

The National Community Hubs Program is resourced through one of Australia’s biggest partnerships between the philanthropic sector and federal, state and local governments. It continues to grow, both in its footprint around Australia, and in its impact within the communities where our hubs are located.

Our hubs operate under the evidence-based community hub model. They are located in communities with high migrant and refugee populations and high levels of socioeconomic disadvantage. The hubs leverage existing, family friendly community facilities, with the vast majority located in state and Catholic primary schools (two are based in community centres). Hubs welcome all migrants, including fathers, however women with young children are their primary client group.

Hubs focus on four key outcomes:

In 2017 our hubs engaged 8,000 families from 101 different countries of origin. Our hub leaders engage migrant and refugee women whether they arrived last month or last decade.

A report by Charles Sturt University (CSU) demonstrated that:

  • hubs successfully engage culturally diverse women and children through early years programs, including English, literacy and numeracy and school readiness
  • parents, volunteers and teachers all report children show improvement in English and literacy, and behaviour through engaging with the hub
  • children show more confidence in attending school than those who start school without a pathway through the hub
  • families (mothers) show improvement in written and spoken English through engaging with the hub and are more likes to connect with the services they need
  • principals and teachers report a greater ability to respond to migrant and refugee family needs, greater participation and better parent-teacher relationships and
  • families that engage with hubs are more likely to understand and access local health services.

A further report by Murdoch Childrens Research Institute demonstrated that children from backgrounds where English is not spoken at home ‘are among the most developmentally vulnerable in the Australian community and interventions are therefore needed to ensure they arrive ready to capitalise on the rich learning environment provided at school. Such interventions should focus on all three components of school readiness simultaneously.

This research built on CSUs findings and found that hubs that engage migrant and refugee women and children are having a positive impact on: children’s readiness for school; schools’ readiness for children; and the capacity of families and communities to provide the opportunities, conditions and supports needed to optimise school readiness, especially for vulnerable children.