A turning point for SisterWorks as we were approached by UN Women to pilot an education program, our main hub relocated, we opened in Bendigo and conducted our first Social Return on Investment (SROI) impact report.
UN Women approached SisterWorks to pilot the Second Chance Education (SCE) Program in Australia. The aim of the SCE Program was to break current trends and
provide a comprehensive solution targeting marginalised women who missed out on education and are at risk of being left behind.
UN Women funded SisterWorks to pilot and deliver, refine and evaluate the SCE Program with the assistance of their highly experienced staff who worked with SisterWorks from October 2019 through to June 2022. SisterWorks’ Employment Pathways Program is the outcome of this initiative and has greatly contributed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals including quality education, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, and reducing inequalities.
Our new location allowed us to bring women more together in a safe space to learn, share, support and grow. The larger premises accommodated our growing training and production needs, as well as provided much needed storage and administration space.
Empowerment Hub Bendigo Officially Opens
SisterWorks wanted to extend the SisterWorks model to new organisations and communities working with refugee and migrant women in Victoria. Bendigo was selected as it is the third largest refugee/migrant settlement area in Victoria. Serving as a strategic starting point for our dream of growing outside Melbourne Metro.
Within a few weeks of the pilot, Bendigo Community Health Services said they had a waiting list of 200 migrant and refugee women wanting to become part of SisterWorks. The initial pilot program was a success and was transitioned into a permanent Empowerment Hub, where our new Sisters can access our support to become economically empowered.
2019 Social Return on Investment Analysis Report
SisterWorks commissioned a review of the organisation to measure the impact of SisterWorks on the community over four years from February 2015 to February 2019. The report showed that every $1 invested into SisterWorks generated $2.40 of social, economic and cultural value. It also showed that SisterWorks played a critical role in supporting women on the pathway towards social and economic participation in Australian society.