Queenslanders with disability and refugees connect 

Multicap has partnered with Multicultural Australia to offer jobs to new Queenslanders at its social enterprise ‘Makeables’ in Tingalpa. 

Refugees and asylum seekers from Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea and Tibet work alongside employees with disability to sort and pack pre-packaged food products for PepsiCo, ready to send to supermarkets. 

Multicap Group Chief Executive Officer, Joanne Jessop said the initiative is beneficial for two groups of people who often feel excluded in the community. 

“Makeables is an inclusive and diverse workplace that provides meaningful employment in a safe and secure location,” said Joanne. 

“Our supported employees – people with disability – can learn about different cultures and diverse workplaces, which helps them to develop the skills they need to find success in mainstream employment.” 

Multicultural Australia Chief Executive Officer, Christine Castley said the partnership has helped new Queenslanders feel a sense of belonging. 

“For our clients, it’s an exciting opportunity to gain Australian work experience, learn new skills and make new friends,” said Christine. 

“At Multicultural Australia we call these ‘moments that matter’ – significant milestones in the lives of recently resettled refugees.” 

Makeables currently employs six people from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds, each working up to 30 hours a week. 

Their employment history ranges from hospitality and farming to finance and aged care. 

All staff working at the warehouse are encouraged to learn a variety of skills across the business. 

Multicap Employment Operations Manager, Nick Ferre said the partnership had been built into Makeables as a sustainable reverse integration employment program. 

“It means we can break down that stigma attached to disability enterprises in which they are typically known as segregated employment,” said Nick.  

“This is especially important for employees who may have entered into a work readiness program, currently may not have the opportunity, or have chosen not to, enter into mainstream employment.”  

With the initiative showing great success since its launch in January 2023, there are now plans to expand the program. 

Joanne Jessop said she hopes to give more refugees, new migrants and asylum seekers the opportunity to join the Makeables workforce.  

“This partnership between Multicap, Multicultural Australia and PepsiCo should grow and blossom,” said Joanne. 

“We want to create more jobs for more people in different locations, helping to create an inclusive and diverse community that we all wish to live in.” 

Multicap works to remove barriers to employment with a focus on independence and personal growth for all employees. 


You may also like