National Community Hubs Program - Mid-year Report - 2016

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<ul><li><p>From the CEO It is with great pleasure that I am sending out this mid-</p><p>year update on the national community hubs program. It </p><p>has been a busy six months for our hubs: overall, adults </p><p>and children from more than 13,000 families participated </p><p>in a hub activity nearly 140,000 times, came to job or </p><p>skills training nearly 8,000 times, and were referred to </p><p>community services outside of the hub 3,000 times. </p><p>Every hub looks and feels different, and we have tried to </p><p>reflect that diversity in this report. Our 39 hubs are </p><p>based in 37 state and Catholic primary schools and two </p><p>community centres, in 7 LGAs across three states. Our </p><p>families come from 96 different countries, and we </p><p>partnered with 288 local organisations to help meet their </p><p>needs. The extent to which a family interacts with a hub </p><p>varies from an occasional drop in, through to in-depth </p><p>engagement in English and job training, programs to </p><p>prepare children for school, and regular social activities </p><p>to build community. </p><p>Helping people to learn and improve their English will </p><p>be a big focus for hubs as we move into the second </p><p>half of this school year. We were delighted to receive </p><p>a generous donation from NAB via the Sharegift </p><p>scheme which we will invest to build a sustainable </p><p>language program across our network. </p><p>Finally, we are also looking forward to extending the </p><p>hubs network, with funding announced in the federal </p><p>governments May budget. The Department of Social </p><p>Services remains the primary funder of the hubs </p><p>program, with nearly two thirds of hub participants </p><p>eligible for DSS settlement services. Hubs funding </p><p>also comes from participating schools, state </p><p>governments, and the Scanlon Foundation. </p><p>If you would like to know more about the hubs </p><p>program, please visit our website where you can </p><p>download a copy of our 2015 report (which includes </p><p>the 2015 independent program evaluation). Dr Sonja Hood, CEO </p><p>Community Hubs Australia </p><p>On average, each hub: </p><p>Pathways to employment </p><p>National community hubs program mid-year update, 2016 </p><p></p></li><li><p>Cultural Isolation </p><p>Speaking English is essential for navigating life in </p><p>Australia. Language impacts on a womans ability to </p><p>access services, build community connections or even to </p><p>speak with teachers about their children at school. Hubs </p><p>work hard to help women develop their language skills, </p><p>no matter what their life stage. For example, one of our </p><p>hub regulars in Brimbank has been in Australia for 11 </p><p>years, but only started learning English recently when </p><p>she started coming to the hub. When she came to </p><p>Australia from Vietnam, she didnt know how to start </p><p>classes, and ever since has required an interpreter to </p><p>interact. Now, thanks to the volunteer English teachers </p><p>in her hub, her confidence is growing and she is </p><p>participating more in school activities and taking an </p><p>active role in her childrens education. </p><p>Empowering women </p><p>Hubs have a strong focus on increasing local community </p><p>participation for women. One great example is in the </p><p>City of Hume, where the hub leaders have organised an </p><p>International Womens event for the past few years. This </p><p>year, the Hume hubs partnered with the Kangan </p><p>Institute of TAFE to help a group of women to build skills </p><p>in event management, by planning and running the </p><p>international womens day celebration dinner. The event </p><p>was a huge success with 400 women from the </p><p>community attending to celebrate International </p><p>Womens Day 2016. Through developing English skills, </p><p>these women felt confident to take on a new project and </p><p>build new connections into the community. </p><p>Education opportunities </p><p>Hubs provide a flexible pathway to further education, </p><p>leading to employment opportunities. For example, </p><p>women at one of our hubs in Bankstown are able to </p><p>access English, early-childhood support and higher </p><p>education. Currently, there are 11 mothers completing a </p><p>Cert IV in Education Support at the hub. This allows </p><p>them to study in a flexible way, during school hours and </p><p>near their children. The hub coordinates onsite childcare </p><p>at the same time. This ensures that mothers with pre-</p><p>school aged children can access the program. </p><p>Innovative engagement </p><p>Hubs engage families in innovative ways, not relying on </p><p>the traditional classroom setting to deliver English skills. </p><p>One example of a soft-entry pathway to English is at a </p><p>hub in Logan, where in the past only a small number of </p><p>women had ever expressed interest in language classes. </p><p>The hub leader knew that more women wanted to </p><p>improve their English skills, but found the formal </p><p>education setting was a barrier. Using the popular </p><p>sewing class in conjunction with English, there are now </p><p>12 women who regularly attend English sessions prior to </p><p>sewing and then use the sewing class time to practice </p><p>their language. </p><p> Getting the families to connect through soft entry </p><p>programs is the key as once they are engaged, they are </p><p>often keen to learn new things </p><p>Nationally, there have </p><p>been over 7,000 </p><p>attendances at English </p><p>conversation classes in </p><p>our hubs and 376 </p><p>referrals to ongoing </p><p>education and training. </p></li><li><p>Partnerships </p><p>287 organisations partnered with hubs to support the delivery of English, computer </p><p>classes, education sessions, school readiness programs, health and fitness programs, </p><p>playgroups, homework clubs, financial literacy and vocational pathway programs. </p><p>In addition, we made the following referrals: </p></li><li><p>Where are our families from? </p><p>For more information </p><p>Contact us 03 9614 3430 </p><p> </p><p>I come to Australia in 2014 and I started out coming to coffee n chat, </p><p>since then have attended the playgroup with my daughter and I did a </p><p>computer class, I have completed a certificate 3 in childcare. I have taken </p><p>advice and a lot of encouragement from the hub. I have now nearly fin-</p><p>ished my diploma in childcare. I have very good friendships from at the </p><p>hub and I feel connected to my community. </p><p>- Zarina, Hub Participant </p><p>The community hubs program is an initiative of Community Hubs Australia Incorporated, funded by the Department of Social Services and the Scanlon Foundation </p><p></p></li></ul>


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