Empowering women from refugee, humanitarian and migrant backgrounds with digital literacy

Twenty community organisations from around Australia will share in $400,000 to deliver a digital skills program that will benefit at least 800 women from refugee, humanitarian and migrant backgrounds.

Through the use of bilingual mentors, the Digital Sisters program will support, empower, and educate these women to build the digital literacy skills they need to positively engage with their local community.

The program will deliver a community-based digital skills for life program tailored to women from a migrant or refugee background. This will include skills to navigate social media to stay connected with community, using websites to apply for jobs and upskilling.

Each organisation will receive a grant of up to $20,000 to deliver the program and have been selected by The Good Things Foundation.

The organisations to receive grants include:

  • Afghan Women on the Move – Kellyville, NSW
  • Albury Wodonga Volunteer Resource Bureau – Albury-Wodonga, NSW/Vic
  • Arise Women Support Association Inc. (AWSA) – Bray Park, Queensland
  • Boronia Multicultural Services Inc – Toongabbie, NSW
  • Citizen Tasmania – Hobart, Tasmania
  • Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre – Coffs Harbour, NSW
  • Edmund Rice Centre WA – Perth, Western Australia
  • Illawarra Multicultural Services Incorporated – Wollongong, NSW
  • Melaleuca Australia – Melbourne, Vic
  • Mercy Community Services Limited – Woolowin, Qld
  • Muslim Women's Association South Australia – Adelaide, SA
  • National Council of Women of New South Wales Inc – NSW
  • River Nile Learning Centre – Footscray, Vic
  • Sikh Community Connections Inc - National
  • South East Community Links – Springvale, Vic
  • The Australian Refugee Association – Adelaide, SA
  • The Neighbourhood Hub – National
  • Wellsprings for Women – Dandenong, Vic
  • Whittlesea Community Connections – Epping, Vic
  • Yarraville Community Centre – Yarraville, Vic

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth will visit The Good Things Foundation in Sydney today and said the Government is proud to support the vital digital inclusion services the Foundation provides within the community.

“We know that as a society, Australia is digitally driven, and we find ourselves increasingly relying on digital and online programs to provide us with essential services,” Minister Rishworth said.

“Gaining these fundamental digital literacy skills will be life-changing for these women, allowing them access to crucial social forums, education, and employment opportunities.

“Programs like Digital Sisters will provide these women, who have specific cultural and linguistic needs, with avenues to work, live, and thrive as they continue their lives in Australia.

“This funding is ultimately about creating a safe space for these women who may have experienced past challenges, to find a place for themselves, their online presence, and their confidence in Australia.”

Minister Giles said that the Government was committed to ensuring permanency and stability for refugee and migrant women. 

“The Albanese Labor Government understands that our responsibility to refugees extends beyond ensuring their safety in Australia,” Minister Giles said.

“We’re committed to ensuring that refugee and migrant women are able to connect with jobs, fulfil their potential and make a home in Australia.” 

The funding is a one-off grant provided under the Government’s Strong and Resilient Communities – Inclusive Communities program, which aims to empower vulnerable and disadvantaged people to better participate socially and economically in their communities.

The Good Things Foundation, who is working with Host International, a settlement support organisation, will provide laptops and data to women in need in the community. Through their co-designed Digital Sisters program, both organisations ensure the diverse needs of participants are considered.

More information about the Be Connected program, an Australian Government initiative also delivered by the Good Things Foundation to assist people aged 50 years and over who have little or no experience with digital technology, is available on the Department of Social Services website.

More information about the Strong and Resilient Communities program is available on the Department of Social Services website.