30 November, 2018: The Woolworths Group today welcomed the Federal Government’s $600,000 funding commitment in support of employment opportunities for displaced migrants and refugees.


The Woolworths Refugee Employment program - delivered in partnership with social enterprise Community Corporate -  has successfully placed 69 refugees from Syria and the Middle East in roles at supermarkets since the program’s inception in 2016.


The announcement today will help provide additional training, coaching and work experience to prepare a further 100 working-age migrants and refugees into paid positions within Woolworths over the next two years.


Woolworths Group Chief People Officer, Caryn Katsikogianis said:“At Woolworths we value diversity and believe our teams should reflect the communities we serve.

“Our Refugee Employment Partnership with Community Corporate has been a big success in both New South Wales and Victoria with the majority of participants going on to secure roles in our stores.

“With the support of this Federal funding, we’re delighted to be expanding our partnership with Community Corporate to give more migrants and refugees the chance to build a great career with Woolworths.”

In recognition of their achievements, Woolworths hosted a graduation ceremony for the 2018 Woolworths Refugee Employment Program (REP) graduates at its National Support Office in Bella Vista today.  


One of the graduates attending the ceremony, Rouhollah (Roy) Tavasoli, said the impact of the Woolworths Refugee Employment program on his integration into Australian society cannot be easily measured.


“It has been really important because as a refugee we don’t have local work experience and it is really hard for us to find work,” Mr Tavasoli said.


“The program gives us local work experience and helps us build our careers in Australia. This job is like a golden door of opportunity for me because it lets me show myself and my skills to people who have not seen my skills. This job lets me dream again and helps me to reach bigger goals.”


Woolworths is Australia’s largest private employer, with more than 182,000 team members in Australia.


Community Corporate is an Australia-wide consultancy established in 2013 to advance diversity and inclusion and make a social impact on communities across Australia.