Carolyn met with Sonya Hood, the CEO of Community Hubs Australia. Community hubs are
welcoming places where migrant and refugee families, particularly mothers with young children, come to connect, share and learn. The hubs enable many vulnerable women and their children to connect with each other, and be linked into education, health and settlement support services. The hubs are successful, as they’re a ground-up initiative, they provide meaningful activities for people to participate in, and from these activities, the social connections grow. Sonya’s advice to our group was to be really clear about the problem we’re trying to solve, and develop a compelling narrative on why people should participate. Focusing on a cause – such as a local problem or opportunity – is far more successful than encouraging people to get together just for the social connections. We also need champions or some infrastructure to get our 5up5down initiative out into the community.