Cairns refugees give back to community

An initiative in Cairns is giving refugees and migrants the opportunity to build a new life, one pallet at a time.

STEPS Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program students regularly volunteer at The Power of Pallets, an organisation that turns old timber pallets into furniture for charity.

SEE trainer Moira Kenny said the students, who are mostly refugees and migrants, benefit greatly from volunteering at the workshop saying it boosted their job-ready skills including workplace health and safety, communication and team work.

“The Power of Pallets is one of those organisations that ticks so many ‘feel good’ boxes.

“It’s all about upcycling timber pallets that would otherwise go into landfill and the students enjoy giving back to the community through their efforts,” she said.

The students help to pull the pallets apart, oil the timber, create stage props for the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair and make furniture which is donated to those in need including victims of domestic violence.

The community-based organisation also holds regular fundraisers auctioning off exceptional furniture and art pieces with money donated to local causes.

The Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program logo.

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