Providing refugee and migrant communities with pathways to employment.

upCyclinc is a funded project that provides migrant and refugees in the Cairns region a space for upcycling and re-purposing discarded household and corporate items, including those no longer needed within the hospitality and tourism industries.

The objective of the upCyclinc project is to build a thriving environmentally sustainable, social enterprise, which provides refugee and migrant communities with pathways to employment, self-sustainability, community engagement and participation, thus reducing long-term dependency on welfare payments by providing:

  • A space to learn, practice, refine and utilise skills
  • Certificate training opportunities, mentoring and support into employment or small business
  • A supported retail environment where they can test ideas and products
  • An opportunity for income generation/supplementation through a retail outlet and online

The Need

Many people from CALD backgrounds arrive in Australia with existing skills and talents and over the years, Centacare FNQ has worked with many talented artisans that have been unable to find a place within the Australian economy to market their talent or craft.

Centacare FNQ has observed over 30 years of working with people from migrant and refugee backgrounds and during settlement, employment is one of their first priorities. Unfortunately, the barriers they face can lead to long-term unemployment and welfare dependency.

Barriers can include

  • Lack of skills and education
  • Lack of English proficiency
  • Limited understanding of the Australian work environment
  • Lack of local experience and references
  • Transport
  • Previous torture or trauma
  • Difficulties with skill recognition
  • Discrimination

In Cairns, more than 12% of the population were born overseas in a non-English speaking country (ABS, 2016). In the last five years, Cairns has received the highest number of permanent migrant and humanitarian arrivals (2522 people) in Regional Queensland, with over 9% of the state’s migrant intake. Cairns is also a settlement location for refugee and humanitarian entrants, with most recent arrivals coming from Bhutan, Myanmar and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Centacare FNQ has developed the upCyclinc project with funding from the Department of Social Services.

You can follow the upCyclinc project on the upCyclinc Facebook page and the upCyclinc Instagram page.

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