In January 2011 a group of people got together to solve two of the biggest problems in our region: unemployment and waste. Just down the road, another group of people got together to solve the unsustainable food system. The groups merged to become Green Connect and in the ten years since, a series of smart, capable, motivated people have each added their skills, knowledge and effort to create jobs that care for people and planet.

Green Connect does five things:

We employ young people and former refugees, who are disproportionately affected by high unemployment and who thrive in safe, welcoming, supportive workplaces

We grow fair food, that’s good for the people who eat it, the people who grow it and the planet

We reduce waste through our Zero Waste services for businesses and events and our innovative Op Shop

We connect the community, knowing that social isolation is one of the biggest drivers of mental ill-health, and that when people come together, we can solve anything

We run a sustainable business, with more than 80% of our expenses covered by income from trade

Our Team

It is only possible to operate a small to medium enterprise with lofty social and environmental aims when you have a team of wonderful, hardworking, clever, warm-hearted people in and around Green Connect. We benefit from the tireless efforts of many and are a proud community of people coming together to create more jobs, less waste and fair food.

Our team includes:

Our History

Green Connect was launched by SCARF in 2011, and received funding to develop a social enterprise providing employment opportunities for former refugees in waste recovery at events. It was started by Robynne Murphy and Sarah Chisholm. In 2013, Jess Moore was engaged by SCARF to wind it up. However, seeing that Green Connect could work as an enterprise, Jess moved it to Our Community Project, and led turning it into the social enterprise it is today, funding the majority of work (and employment and waste recovery outcomes) with income from trade.

Work in waste recovery grew, and labour hire services were launched to help connect refugee to staff to other businesses, industries and opportunities. In 2014 Green Connect also incorporated Urban Grown, a great urban farm working with young people, that was about to close down as its funding came to an end. This gave Green Connect the capacity to launch its third business arm: fair food. Green Connect started selling weekly vegetable boxes to households, selling boxes of vegetables to restaurants, and creating employment opportunities for a second target group: young people.

Green Connects goals were set: to create meaningful jobs for groups experiencing high unemployment. Specifically, it recovers waste, grows fair food and employs former refugees and young people. It does this with its local community.

By 2017, Green Connect had grown bigger than its host organisation and needed to find a new home that shared its aims and would enable it to grow further. In February 2018, the team moved into a new office on the main street of Port Kembla, Green Connect merged with Community Resources Ltd, and Kylie Flament came on board as the new General Manager.

In 2019, we launched a new Youth Employment Program to support at-risk young people into training, work experience and paid employment.

As we continued to grow, in 2020 we moved again, this time into our current office in Unanderra where one of our Op Shops is located. The following year we opened a second Op Shop on the campus of the University of Wollongong and proudly accepted the Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Award for Innovation in Sustainable Development. As a result, His Excellency the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia and Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley came on board as Co-Patrons.

Kylie departed after five years, and in August 2022 we welcomed our new General Manager Robert Servine to the team. Bringing over 12 years of experience in managing teams within the nonprofit and government sectors, one of his main aims was to simplify our wonderful yet complex social enterprise while retaining its heart and soul. As a result, Green Connect has experienced significant change in the last year, and while challenging at times, we’re making great strides: We have increased the production on the farm by more than 40%, have established ourselves with our Zero Waste Services, relaunched our Op Shops and have just embarked on a significant project funded by the Department of Home Affairs to support even more refugees and humanitarian entrants to find sustainable employment.

Senior Farm Hand


“Before I started at Green Connect I was very shy and scared to talk to people because my English was not very good, but now I have so much self-confidence and I believe in myself.”