9793 9708 (AWatW Office)

9793 9062 (Vietnamese Workers)

9793 9150 (Chinese Workers)

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About Us

Asian Women at Work Inc (AWatW) is an active organisation that has been working to empower migrant women in low paid and precarious employment since our incorporation in 1995. A key focus of our work is to build and strengthen the capacity of the target communities, as well as build links with the mainstream local communities in which they live. Leadership development and training is central to our model of work, which is ultimately building communities.

AWatW’s target communities are Asian migrant women workers in low paid and precarious employment across Sydney, including clothing outworkers, clothing factory workers, cleaners, restaurant workers, manufacturing workers, nail and beauty workers, aged care workers, and child care workers. Many workers receive below legal wages and conditions, and many do not speak out about this for fear of losing their job. Bullying and harassment and other work health and safety issues are common. Women in precarious employment often have limited access to government and community services and information due to long hours of work, which also contributes to limited opportunities to learn English. Migrant working women are generally isolated from information and support services by long hours of work in low paid jobs and limited English skills. Bullying and exploitation experienced by many in the workplace reduces their confidence about seeking support. While a common element is their working situations, we are not only responding to their workplace issues, as unions do, but to the full range of issues in their lives. Our unique services involve extensive outreach to these women, including offering services on evenings and on weekends to increase accessibility. From outreach, support groups and seminars, through to leadership development and facilitating their involvement in self-representation and advocacy, AWatW builds on the strengths and responds to the needs of their network of migrant women workers and their families.

We have focused on developing a support network of migrant women workers based around local branches, capable of reaching out to hundreds of migrant women workers in each local area, and our current membership is 2000. Through these women members we are also reaching thousands of others in their families. Everyone who participates in our activities is invited to become a member, but we assist many who are not our members. We currently have over 25 established social, educational and support groups, most of which are run by leaders from the target group. We work in five branch areas, with more than 100 migrant women workers involved in leadership roles in their groups and branches.

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