Supporting Women’s Employment and Economic Participation (SWEEP)

ECCQ’s SWEEP Project, (Supporting Women’s Employment and Economic Participation) has been in full swing since September this year with many workshops and sessions held in the Brisbane area. The project aims to provide CALD women with the opportunity to build their confidence, gain new skills, meet new people, strengthen their employment opportunities and make connections in the community.

Over the last three months we have held 10 workshops and 20 individual and mentoring sessions, with over 50 women participating in the project. ECCQ’s bicultural workers Linh Nguyen, Malo Semaia and Grace Oryem have been assisting with this work. We have also had mentor/guest speaker Cathrin Feltham, who is very knowledgeable in holding and running market stalls.

Activities are tailored for the participants and so far this has included a series of workshops on job hunting skills including preparing resumes and cover letters, and preparing for interviews. Many women require individual assistance to update and create their resumes and cover letters and Linh Nguyen has been instrumental in providing this support. Some of the women have also visited Suited to Success, a not-for-profit organisation that offers styling advice and work outfits for suitable women (and men) who are looking for work. We have also had a lot of requests from women who are keen to successfully and safely sell their food and craft at markets so we delivered sessions that provided practical tips and information on licence and regulatory requirements.

A big component of SWEEP has been providing additional information and referrals to the women we are working with so that they can more fully participate in the community. This has included referrals to English classes, local community centres, employers, industry networks and other ECCQ services. We have also worked closely with other community organisations including Belong, Frangipani Friends and received assistance and advice from Brisbane City Council’s Community Development Co-ordinator Kareena Clifford. A big thank you to all our partners and also to Rose Brown, the project’s former co-ordinator, who left at the end of September.

Whilst this current phase of the project is now near completion, we hope to build on this work by continuing to work with the project participants, and showcasing some of the women’s skills and stories through a special event in March for the project’s completion.

For further information please contact SWEEP Project Manager – Lalita Lakshmi on [email protected] or ring 0404627003

This program is funded by Australian Government, Department of Home Affairs, Fostering Integration Grant.

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