Sydney (Tribune International, Geoff Lee’s Office, 18 March 2021): The NSW Government has made a further investment this financial year to help migrant and refugee mothers learn English, build social networks, secure employment and understand the NSW education system through the National Community Hubs Program.
Community Hubs have been activated in 25 schools across NSW to help engage and support migrant and refugee mothers of young children.
Minister for Multiculturalism Geoff Lee said the Hubs provide invaluable support to help break down barriers, reduce social isolation and foster community harmony.
“The Community Hubs offer essential training including English classes and job readiness, while helping to build social networks through local school communities,” Mr Lee said.
The NSW Government has contributed $900,000 to the National Community Hubs Program over the last five years, including an investment of $230,000 this financial year to support activities throughout the 2021 school year.
“We are very pleased to offer our support; it’s heartening to see 60 women employed as a result of connecting with the Westmead Hub during the height of COVID-19”, Mr Lee said.
Mr Lee marked the beginning of Harmony Week with a visit to the Westmead Hub where he met Ruchi Gupta, a mother of two originally from India, who is now employed as the Hub’s playgroup facilitator after being a participant of the program.
“This is my first job in Australia and my Hub coordinator supported me every step of the way. Thanks to her encouragement, I’ve also completed my Certificate III in early childhood education.” Ms Gupta said.
“The Hub has been so important during the pandemic. It’s allowed the mothers to continue learning English and to keep coming together, even online.”
Community Hubs Australia Chief Executive Officer Sonja Hood said the Westmead Community Hub was just one example of the work of 25 hubs across NSW.
“We are so proud of our hub network in NSW. Each hub plays a vital role supporting mothers and children,” Dr Hood said.
For more information about the National Community Hubs program, see: http://www.communityhubs.org.au/