As the winner of the RCSA Corporate Social Responsibility Award – 2018 & RCSA Rising Star Award 2018, I wanted to not just win an award and consider that I have made it! Mind you, it did take me 4 years of being a finalist to win, so don’t get me wrong, it’s a huge honour and achievement for me personally and as a business. But winning gave me the idea that I wanted to use my network to really make a difference and come together for a cause.
I talked to key people in the recruitment industry – the RCSA, and Recruitment industry supporting businesses like LinkedIn, WordPro, Indeed, Prime Super & more. After a lot of collaboration with industry leaders we felt the Freedom Hub would be the ideal charity to support as their work with survivors of Human Trafficking within Australia borders is of utmost significance. We wanted to make a stand as a Recruitment industry and corporate businesses that we don’t stand for this and want to raise awareness for what is happening all around us.
Human trafficking, forced labour, forced marriage and sexual exploitation – they’re not issues many Australians would associate with our country, and yet this is the daily reality for an estimated 15,000* people living in slavery within our borders.
After collaboration with Matt Sampson – (Aspect Personnel) & Charles Cameron – CEO of RCSA & Sally Irwin – Freedom Hub about how we could make a difference, I came up with the concept Fivers for Survivors Day. We are seeking to raise awareness of this issue as well as much-needed funds to support survivors of modern slavery. This is the first time anything like this has been done for the Freedom Hub. On the 12th of October, the Freedom Hub asks individuals and organisations to give a small amount, from just $5, to have a big effect in the lives of slavery survivors.
One hundred percent of donations from Fivers for Survivors Day will go to survivors of modern slavery through Freedom Hub, a ‘For Purpose’ business and charity that runs Survivor School, providing free, personalised classes that assist survivors in recovering from trauma, community engagement programs, as well as practical work-ready courses.
The Founder of the Freedom Hub, Sally Irwin, first became passionate about the topic when she came into contact with modern slavery while living in Europe and was horrified to find that the issue was also present here in Australia.
“Slavery was abolished in England in 1833, and yet for tens of thousands of people in Australia this is their reality in 2018,” Sally Irwin said.
Sally Irwin founded the Freedom Hub to fill the gap in after-care for survivors of modern slavery, to help them assimilate back into society and regain their confidence. Established as a ‘For Purpose’ business and charity, Freedom Hub’s two cafes, in Sydney and the Gold Coast, fund the administration of the organisation, meaning 100% of all donations go directly to supporting survivors.
“Once a survivor is rescued and removed from their situation they then have a period of four to five years to wait before their court case is heard – that’s long enough for people’s lives to be destroyed even further than what they’ve already been through. Their mental and physical health deteriorates, they find it impossible to trust anyone or function within society,” said Sally Irwin.
“That’s where Freedom Hub’s Survivor School comes in, we help them rebuild their lives to live independently and successfully.”
Survivor School’s work-ready courses include basic employment and office skills, practical applications for success and paid work experience. The school also provides peer support and long-term support, including outings, workshops, employment help and tutoring.
“A small donation can have a big impact for survivors, and that’s what Fivers for Survivors is all about. Together, we can make a massive difference and everyone can be a part of it for as little as $5. Every cent counts and every cent will go directly to survivors,” Sally Irwin.
Fivers for Survivors Day is on the 12th of October and asks businesses, clubs, schools, groups and anyone who would like to be part of the day to donate just $5. Donations can be made at https://thefreedomhub.org/donate/
About The Freedom Hub:
The Freedom Hub Venue, Cafe and School is a registered charity with a mission to rehabilitate and empower victims of human trafficking and slavery like practices in Australia. Freedom Hub’s SURVIVOR SCHOOL runs free classes to help survivors regain confidence and become work ready. It’s cafés in Sydney and the Gold Coast are “businesses for purpose” to provide profit to sustain the School.