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QPASTT was supporting newly arrived women with resume writing who expressed that they felt like they had no relevant skills and experience. The women were in fact highly skilled across a range of activities, including cooking, gardening, art, craft, sewing, self-defence and event management. QPASTT began running Women’s Skillshare Groups in Brisbane, enabling participants to develop and share their existing skills and learn new skills from each other.

The groups are ongoing and open to any woman who has arrived as a refugee. They include participants from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. The women meet weekly and have developed deep connections with each other, celebrating cultural events, birthdays and sharing significant moments in each other’s lives.

The Women’s Groups have new people joining regularly and while the immediate goal is to offer an experience that is welcoming and safe for people to join in, the broader focus is on creating a community of women across Brisbane that are deeply connected to each other independently from QPASTT.

If you would like to join a QPASTT group, complete our referral form and one of our team will be in touch.  You can refer yourself or someone else (with their consent).  

Reflections from QPASTT’s Women’s Group members

I miss my life (in my home country), but from the moment I started attending these groups, I felt like I’d found a family.”

(The day the group meets) is like a very special day for me. I just breathe and take a break from everything from home, from family and I take a break for myself.”

The women have supported me and they encouraged me to be the better version of myself and they made me do things and have the opportunity of doing things that I was not able to do in my home country … Before I, I used to attend this woman group. I used to feel lonely and I used to not go anywhere at all. I would just be the whole time at home.”

Yeah, there is a connection it’s a very strong connection and a very beautiful connection between all the women and the proof of that is that we share every like emotion. We share, sadness, we share happiness, we share our occasions, we share. For example, the women are from different backgrounds but we share all our cultural celebrations.”

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