The Illawarra grew from the development of mining and manufacturing, particularly coal and steel. These industries created jobs but they also had a big environmental impact.

Today, these industries are shedding jobs and the region has one of the highest unemployment rates in Australia. This has made life more difficult and has affected some groups more than others. Wollongong has a big refugee population, and only 31% of refugees have a job 5 years after resettlement. In Port Kembla and Warrawong, where we’re based, youth unemployment sits at 22 to 36%.

What we’re part of

Green Connect is a social enterprise within Community Resources Ltd, a national not-for-profit organisation focused on creating jobs that make a difference to people and the planet.

Community Resources started in Tuncurry, NSW, more than 30 years ago. It now comprises of more than seven social enterprises including:

Resource Recovery Australia, which operates re-use stores, community recycling centres and transfer stations, a problem waste mobile community recycling service and waste education programs in partnership with councils across NSW, WA and the ACT.

Soft Landing, a national mattress recycling social enterprise that works with local government, bedding retailers, manufacturers and a range of commercial, government and community partners to divert waste mattresses from landfill and recover the components for re-use and recycling.

Waste Aid Australia, which works alongside Aboriginal communities to leverage their own skills and expertise to co-design and deliver waste solutions on their own land.

Helping Hands, a local community-based care and building provider that provides services to the aged and those living with a disability to ensure they can remain in their own homes safely, for as long as possible.

Homebase Youth Services, a dedicated local youth and Aboriginal service, providing services in the Great Lakes area for over 27 years.

Great Lakes and Manning Youth Homelessness Service, which provides specialist homelessness services to young people across the MidCoast Council region

 

Our people

Last year, Green Connect...

  • <p>Kept <strong>2,653 tonnes of waste</strong> out of landfill</p>

    Kept 2,653 tonnes of waste out of landfill

  • <p>Grew and distributed <strong>20,628kg of chemical free food</strong></p>

    Grew and distributed 20,628kg of chemical free food

  • <p>Employed <strong>106 former refugees and young people</strong></p>

    Employed 106 former refugees and young people

We have so much fresh produce at the farm at the moment and our veg boxes are looking very lush. Please take a visit to our website to find out more about our available products. https://t.co/HAZziICBGH

Our first Kids Farm Experience last week was a success. The feedback we got from the kids was “more mud!”. (There was plenty.) $10 per person. New dates just released. Book via https://t.co/jOWkE1zIlD

Not-so-undercover boss. Our GM, Kylie, recently joined our Zero Waste team at the clean-up of a major music festival. Her thoughts:

“It was tough but rewarding. I knew our staff worked hard but I have a whole... https://t.co/BwBo6NNL7n

Weekly fruit and veg boxes available

More info