SisterWorks evolved from a group founded by Luz Restrepo, a political refugee from Colombia. Luz arrived in Australia in 2010 with her life in tatters and spoke no English. “I felt like a nobody; frightened, isolated and disempowered.”

She soon discovered that she was not alone. Along with another 25 women experiencing similar challenges, she began to make and sell crafts around Melbourne. They understood that to support each other was also to strengthen each other.

Officially incorporated in May 2013 when a committee of volunteers joined them with legal, fund-raising, marketing and administrative skills, SisterWorks as it stands today was born.

It’s a not-for-profit that exists to help women migrants, asylum seekers and refugees become financially independent and happily settled in Australia.

The social enterprise currently supports 171 women from 55 countries, including 88 ‘Entrepreneurs’ – who create and sell their wares from our Richmond ‘Home’ – with the remaining Sisters supporting this effort behind the scenes.

You can lend a hand or donate, or if you yourself are an immigrant with a unique talent or skillset you could share with others – head to their website to get in touch.

They have also just launched a brand new initiative, Hello Sister, which aims to deliver their services to community centres in the outer suburbs of Greater Melbourne – working in partnership with local community organisations to set-up regular mobile Design Labs, which provide training for women who are participating in their programs. Mentors will provide isolated and long term-unemployed women with the initial support they need to develop products that can generate a quick income through their sales channels and business opportunities.

Help this beautiful organisation continue to connect and empower women new to this country.


Hello Sister