We have started a Regional Sewing Hub in Toowoomba!
Located on the corner of Mort and Bridge Streets, our hub has 4 machines that started humming away on February 11th.
At the Hub we have three full time workers and two part-time, ensuring the machines will be creating Tambo Teddies all week long.
Four of our workers have been recommended to us by Multicultural Queensland- MDA who work to resettle migrants and refugees in Toowoomba. Our workers are learning to speak English, and have varying linguistic abilities at this stage, it will be exciting to get to know them better as the year progresses and their English improves.
We have two men working at the regional sewing hub, Kahlil and Dilo, who are both Yazidi people from Syria. Dilo has been in Australia for seven months and Kahlil arrived five months. The Yazidi people are an ethnic and religious minority from Iraq and Syria who have suffered genocidal attacks for centuries.
Kahlil has worked in Aleppo, Syria & Beirut and Lebanon as a tailor and has already shown his skills as a sewing machine mechanic. Dilo has also worked as a tailor and is a fast learner and very adaptable.
They are joined in the Hub by Tbrah, who came to Australia from Eretria 3 months ago to join her sister who has been living in Toowoomba for seven years. Tbrah is an accountant but spent many years making her own toys and enjoys craft based work. Jolie is at the Hub on Thursdays and Fridays, she is from the Congo in Africa and has been in Toowoomba for nine and a half months. In the Congo Jolie worked as a tailor making children’s clothes and scarves.
Also working in the Hub are Paula and Bonnie, Bonnie has been sewing at home for the past year and she will be popping into the Hub on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday afternoons to help the sewers, organise the cut-outs, trim and ribbon the bears ready for dispatch to Tambo. Paula is originally from Charleville and is excited to have the opportunity to create Tambo Teddies at our regional sewing hub.
We are thrilled to how our new workers have taken to the job, we literally have to chase them off their machines at knock-off time! And for the migrants it is lovely to see how appreciative they are to have the opportunity to have a job and live in Australia. Kahlil told us ‘Australia is so friendly!’ – what an endorsement that is for our country.
The first load of bears from the Hub arrived back in Tambo on Saturday Feb 16th…..and there will be plenty more to come.