Women’s Leadership and Development Program

Community Hubs Australia has received grant funding through the Women’s Leadership and Development Program to build on vocational pathway programs provided in community hubs across New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria

The grant will enable hubs to provide child minding services alongside English and skills training programs geared toward migrant and refugee women, many of who have little or no English, and lack the resources necessary to participate in classes and local community activities.

“Migrant women, particularly those from non-English speaking backgrounds, have significantly lower rates of workforce participation, and they often can’t participate until their youngest child starts school – further delaying their return to work,” says Dr Sonja Hood, CEO, Community Hubs Australia.

“Community hubs demonstrably improve access to the English classes and skills training that supports returning to work, but a lack of child-minding options can be a significant obstacle to attendance so we applied for this grant to address the barrier.” says Dr Hood.

Through this project, Community Hubs Australia will administer a funding pool to enable community hubs to provide child minding to accompany English and skills training programs provided throughout the National Community Hubs Program.

“For women with pre-school children, attending an English class or a job training session depends on the availability of childminding,” says Hiranthi Perera, Program Manager.

Early intervention to support migrant women and their young children is an investment that lays the foundations for the social cohesion of communities with high populations of new migrants.

Similarly, supporting migrants to contribute to their local community, and achieve their individual aspirations, is the most effective approach to ensuring they achieve successful settlement outcomes.

“Last year, our hubs recorded over 21,000 attendances at English classes and over 5,000 formal training sessions – this funding will support women who couldn’t participate due to that simple barrier”.

The NCHP is resourced through one of Australia’s biggest partnerships between the philanthropic sector and local, state and federal governments, with significant support from the Scanlon Foundation, the federal government’s Department of Social Services, and state and local governments in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

“We are committed to working with the community to advance these important priorities by harnessing the expertise of organisations across the country that are already on the ground helping women,” the Minister for Women, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP said.