We’re so excited, we are finalists in the business category of the Queensland Multicultural Awards!

We have been selected for the work we have been doing in partnership with Multicultural Queensland Australia providing jobs for refugees at our regional sewing hub in Toowoomba.

‘Supply’ of bears has been the constricting factor in growth of the business. Without product we simply can’t grow. And this has been a bit frustrating, we have been moving forward over the past four years it hasn’t been at the pace we would like.  Supply greatly restricts what we can sell, how we market and promote, finding new stockists. It became obvious the model we had was broken. Employing external sewers was too challenging – keeping the eyes, cotton, noses, tags, needles let alone the cut-outs up to them was a logistical nightmare.  So, things had to change we had to come up with a new model. We developed the regional sewing hub concept.

Creating our Regional Sewing Hub in Toowoomba, 750km from Tambo, and working in partnership with Multicultural Development Australia to provided employment opportunities for some of Toowoomba’s newly arrived refugees. The theme for Multicultural Queensland Month is ‘We All Belong’. Multicultural Affairs Minister Stirling Hinchliffe  has recognised the work carried out by the finalists has helped create that sense of belonging here in Queensland in many different ways.
“Tambo Teddies has a long history creating employment and boosting the economy of the local community,” Mr Hinchliffe said. “When the wool prices crashed back in 1992, the Tambo Teddies were born to support the wool industry, create employment and encourage tourists.”

Employing new residents who have moved to Australia is very rewarding and has a unique synergy with the Tambo Teddies story. Our workers have had to leave their home country and resettle in a foreign land and learn a new language.  One of the most challenging aspects of resettlement is employment, and we are so delighted that we have been able to provide jobs.

The changes in these guys over the past three months has been a delight to watch and experience, Tammy said recently in an interview how it is heart-warming that we have been able to make a difference to their lives, and it really is. Tbra, from Eretria, has grown in confidence, she was so quiet and shy – she would slip into the Hub so quietly each day – she now comes in with a cheery ‘Hello’ and a wide smile.

Our workers have the skills we need, they have a great work ethic and they see the job as an opportunity, it is how they can get ahead in their new country. There was great excitement a few weeks ago when Dilo purchased his own car, he was so proud! Kahil and his family, have been able to move into a much larger house. Everyone at the hub is proud to have their jobs at Teddies. They are all embracing being a part of the Tambo Teddies continuing story. We keep joking with them all ‘we’re famous’ so now ‘you’re famous.’ And famous they are……interviews at the Hub appeared on both Seven and WIN news in the last week of June.

Seven new interview- watch HERE.

The winners will be announced during Multicultural Queensland Month at a ceremony on 30 August 2019 at the Royal International Convention Centre in Brisbane. Fingers crossed!