EMPOWERING MIGRANT AND REFUGEE WOMEN

MIGRANT and refugee women on the Sunshine Coast will be empowered to smash cultural stereotypes and take control of finances thanks to a Federal grant.

Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien announced $45 369 for the Nambour Community Centre’s new Sista 4 Sista program specifically for women of multicultural background.

Mr O’Brien said Sista 4 Sista included two streams – ‘Cashed-Up Sista’ and ‘Social Sista’ – designed to help educate migrant and refugee women about money and encourage social connections.

Cashed-Up Sista aims to assertively challenge certain cultural norms about women and money,” said Mr O’Brien.

“Migrant and refugee women will be encouraged to take control of budgeting, to talk about money, to save, to start a business and to have financial goals.

Social Sista will be about women working together to organise events like dinner dances and outings, to connect with other ladies and in the process gain event management skills.

“Overall, Sista 4 Sista is about women working together and supporting each other to achieve goals, make friends and develop skills.”

The funding falls under the Federal Government’s $9.3million Fostering Integration Grants program which was boosted after the Bourke Street terrorist attack in November 2018.

Grants go to local groups that assist migrants integrate into life in Australia and facilitate social cohesion.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman said the work of grassroots organisations like the Nambour Community Centre would ensure Australia continued to be the most successful migrant nation in the world.

“Local community organisations have an important role to play in creating social cohesion and ensuring the unity, prosperity, and security of our nation,” said Mr Coleman.

“The grants will encourage economic and social integration and help migrants, particularly young people, women and those in regional areas access the workforce and participate more in the community.”

Nambour Community Centre migrant settlement worker Linda Dennis thanked the Federal Government for the funding which would enable Sista 4 Sista to run for six months from April.

 “There are many people on the Sunshine Coast from a multicultural background who have many skills and they need to have secure employment and finances and supportive networks,” said Ms Dennis.

“This program will show women that you don’t have to do it alone.”