The Centre’s Empowerment programs are the first point of contact for people seeking asylum who wish to be a member of the Innovation Hub. Both staff and members work in partnership with people seeking asylum to help identify each individual’s unique strengths, skills, experience and to understand their future goals. This forms the foundation of the person’s journey to success.

Empowerment Pathways are able to meet members wherever they are at, including people who don’t have work or study rights. The program is able to find opportunities for all people seeking asylum to feel a sense of purpose and to have meaningful engagement with the wider community. It is this that the Youth Empowerment, Women’s Empowerment and the Community Engagement and development programs aim to achieve.

The program also works closely with the ASRC employment and education teams, as we understand members feel most empowered when they are engaged in meaningful work and have the skills and knowledge required to achieve their goals.

“With all my success, the ASRC played an important role to give confidence and a platform for me dreams to come true, with very professional and kind staff members” – Khisro, IT Specialist and former member

Youth Empowerment

This program supports young people seeking asylum under the age of 30 to increase their participation and engagement with the broader community through employment, education and opportunities to connect through social outings and recreation. The program has established a proactive, engaged group of young people who have made lasting friendships and gained confidence and leadership skills to thrive in Australia.

Some of the graduates of the program have now moved forward to successful jobs in their chosen fields, are leaders in their communities, inspirational speakers and also mentors for other young people who also share a lived experience of seeking asylum.

In 2016, members designed a program in which they learnt about leadership, resume writing, public speaking, and the Australian workplace, such as employee rights, pay rates, taxes and workplace culture. Work experience opportunities were offered as part of the program at the ASRC, and also partnerships with employers through ANZ Bank, Richmond Cafe and Telstra.

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Women’s Empowerment

This program supports women seeking asylum to realise their full potential through a range of professional development workshops and activities, including English language classes, education and training and other community-based activities to foster creativity and social engagement. The program also supports our entrepreneurial female members  to start up their own businesses as well as running a nine-week ‘Sisterhood Journey’, a self-growth program run in partnership with MIND Australia and the SHINE program in partnership with Hope Inc.

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Community Engagement and Development

Community Engagement and Development supports our members’ engagement with each other and the broader community. It facilitate social inclusion outcomes, creating links between people seeking asylum and the broader Australian community through sport, leisure and the arts. By participating in a range of active social, cultural and recreational activities, members report a range of benefits including increased self-esteem and confidence, as well as increased physical and psychological well being.

The program oversees the ASRC Soccer Team, named The Seekers, and the ASRC Music Group, Musical Journeys.

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Entrepreneurs program

The Entrepreneurs program supports people seeking asylum to build on existing skills, knowledge and networks to start their own business in Australia.  The program provides access to services and specialist workshops that enable participants to rapidly progress their ambitions and offers individual coaching, advice and business mentorship, networking meetups and co-working spaces.

ASRC Enterprise Night by Tanya Ngerengere

Mentoring program

The Mentoring program connects professionals seeking asylum with volunteer mentors from diverse vocational, professional and business sectors. This relationship spans 12 months during which mentors work with mentees to develop career plans, build up knowledge of the Australian workplace, expand local networks and knowledge of the sector, support around job searching methods as well as develop personal and professional goals.

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