National Community Hubs Program - Mid-year Report - 2016 page 1
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National Community Hubs Program - Mid-year Report - 2016

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  • From the CEO It is with great pleasure that I am sending out this mid-

    year update on the national community hubs program. It

    has been a busy six months for our hubs: overall, adults

    and children from more than 13,000 families participated

    in a hub activity nearly 140,000 times, came to job or

    skills training nearly 8,000 times, and were referred to

    community services outside of the hub 3,000 times.

    Every hub looks and feels different, and we have tried to

    reflect that diversity in this report. Our 39 hubs are

    based in 37 state and Catholic primary schools and two

    community centres, in 7 LGAs across three states. Our

    families come from 96 different countries, and we

    partnered with 288 local organisations to help meet their

    needs. The extent to which a family interacts with a hub

    varies from an occasional drop in, through to in-depth

    engagement in English and job training, programs to

    prepare children for school, and regular social activities

    to build community.

    Helping people to learn and improve their English will

    be a big focus for hubs as we move into the second

    half of this school year. We were delighted to receive

    a generous donation from NAB via the Sharegift

    scheme which we will invest to build a sustainable

    language program across our network.

    Finally, we are also looking forward to extending the

    hubs network, with funding announced in the federal

    governments May budget. The Department of Social

    Services remains the primary funder of the hubs

    program, with nearly two thirds of hub participants

    eligible for DSS settlement services. Hubs funding

    also comes from participating schools, state

    governments, and the Scanlon Foundation.

    If you would like to know more about the hubs

    program, please visit our website where you can

    download a copy of our 2015 report (which includes

    the 2015 independent program evaluation). Dr Sonja Hood, CEO

    Community Hubs Australia

    On average, each hub:

    Pathways to employment

    National community hubs program mid-year update, 2016

  • Cultural Isolation

    Speaking English is essential for navigating life in

    Australia. Language impacts on a womans ability to

    access services, build community connections or even to

    speak with teachers about their children at school. Hubs

    work hard to help women develop their language skills,

    no matter what their life stage. For example, one of our

    hub regulars in Brimbank has been in Australia for 11

    years, but only started learning English recently when

    she started coming to the hub. When she came to

    Australia from Vietnam, she didnt know how to start

    classes, and ever since has required an interpreter to

    interact. Now, thanks to the volunteer English teachers

    in her hub, her confidence is growing and she is

    participating more in school activities and taking an

    active role in her childrens education.

    Empowering women

    Hubs have a strong focus on increasing local community

    participation for women. One great example is in the

    City of Hume, where the hub leaders have organised an

    International Womens event for the past few years. This

    year, the Hume hubs partnered with the Kangan

    Institute of TAFE to help a group of women to build skills

    in event management, by planning and running the

    international womens day celebration dinner. The event

    was a huge success with 400 women from the

    community attending to celebrate International

    Womens Day 2016. Through developing English skills,

    these women felt confident to take on a new project and

    build new connections into the community.

    Education opportunities

    Hubs provide a flexible pathway to further education,

    leading to employment opportunities. For example,

    women at one of our hubs in Bankstown are able to

    access English, early-childhood support and higher

    education. Currently, there are 11 mothers completing a

    Cert IV in Education Support at the hub. This allows

    them to study in a flexible way, during school hours and

    near their children. The hub coordinates onsite childcare

    at the same time. This ensures that mothers with pre-

    school aged children can access the program.

    Innovative engagement

    Hubs engage families in innovative ways, not relying on

    the traditional classroom setting to deliver English skills.

    One example of a soft-entry pathway to English is at a

    hub in Logan, where in the past only a small number of

    women had ever expressed interest in language classes.

    The hub leader knew that more women wanted to

    improve their English skills, but found the formal

    education setting was a barrier. Using the popular

    sewing class in conjunction with English, there are now

    12 women who regularly attend English sessions prior to

    sewing and then use the sewing class time to practice

    their language.

    Getting the families to connect through soft entry

    programs is the key as once they are engaged, they are

    often keen to learn new things

    Nationally, there have

    been over 7,000

    attendances at English

    conversation classes in

    our hubs and 376

    referrals to ongoing

    education and training.

  • Partnerships

    287 organisations partnered with hubs to support the delivery of English, computer

    classes, education sessions, school readiness programs, health and fitness programs,

    playgroups, homework clubs, financial literacy and vocational pathway programs.

    In addition, we made the following referrals:

  • Where are our families from?

    For more information

    Contact us 03 9614 3430

    I come to Australia in 2014 and I started out coming to coffee n chat,

    since then have attended the playgroup with my daughter and I did a

    computer class, I have completed a certificate 3 in childcare. I have taken

    advice and a lot of encouragement from the hub. I have now nearly fin-

    ished my diploma in childcare. I have very good friendships from at the

    hub and I feel connected to my community.

    - Zarina, Hub Participant

    The community hubs program is an initiative of Community Hubs Australia Incorporated, funded by the Department of Social Services and the Scanlon Foundation