Green Connect is a not-for-profit social enterprise that employs young people and former refugees to grow fair food and reduce waste to landfill.
We run a farm and grow organic and free-range food (see Fair Food)
We help organisations reduce their waste to landfill, through waste audits and management plans, and by managing waste at events to ensure as much as possible is composted or recycled. Our aim is to ensure zero waste, and we are achieving 91% diversion at some events (see Zero Waste Services)
We also offer labour hire, to connect our staff to other businesses, industries and opportunities, and to give local businesses access to hardworking, reliable employees (see Labour Hire and Recruitment)
Our staff are offered training and personalised, wrap-around support. Many of the young people we employ have never seen what it means to have and keep a job, due to high rates of intergenerational unemployment in our area. Many of the former refugees we employ have never seen what it means to have and keep a job in Australia. Our training, support and paid work means that they get experience, income, learn what is expected by employers, can try different things and make mistakes, and most will go on to secure meaningful, long-term roles in an area they enjoy and are good at.
In FY2018, we:
- employed 106 young people and former refugees
- kept 2,653 tonnes of waste out of landfill (equivalent to 447 African elephants!)
- grew and distributed 20,628 kg of (uncertified) organic food
How you can support us
Buy from us
As a social enterprise, we want to operate a business that allows us to fund all of the support we give our staff. So purchasing fair food fruit and veg boxes, free range meat or other products, engaging us to help your business/school/council/event be more sustainable or to manage rubbish and other waste at your event, or engaging us for labour hire helps us to create more jobs, less waste and fair food.
Check out our:
Our aim is to be 100% self-funded but while we’re still growing, we rely on donations and grants to cover up to 20% of our expenses. Any donation is appreciated. You can make a one-off donation here, monthly donations here, or get in touch with us to talk about our future projects and what you could help us to achieve.
We don’t have a lot of volunteers, because we’re all about creating employment, particularly for young people and former refugees in the Illawarra, but we do need a hand every now and then, and we have a couple of regular volunteers on the farm and in the office. If you want to be part of what we do, let us know here.
What we’re doing next
Over the next five years, Green Connect aims to:
- Fully develop the Green Connect farm into a thriving hub for fair food, complete with a community space, training and workshops, farm visits for families, and lots of healthy animals, fruit, vegetables and herbs
- Run zero waste events where nothing goes to landfill because everything is composted, recycled or reused
- Expand the services we offer to create more jobs for young people and former refugees
To do this, we’ll need as many passionate, hardworking people as possible, and a big chunk of funding to see the farm project in particular through. If you can help, we’d love to hear from you.