A quarter of Australian women have experienced domestic or family violence. So the founder of tech startup Scriibed, Melanie Greblo, decided to do her part by launching Banksia Academya first of its kind virtual hub to help women achieve long-term financial independence through training, education, employment pathways and support.
The nonprofit platform is opening its virtual doors this week after raising $170,000 in Seed funding from philanthropic organizations, including $100,000 from Tara Nelson Carnegie’s Vasudhara WildWomen Fund.
Greblo said the free virtual platform acts as a gateway to sustainable employment. The initial focus is on digital roles that allow for greater flexibility, access to better paying jobs and full immersion in the digital economy.
The Banksia Academy hub also offers personal development and training opportunities, job readiness programs and comprehensive support, including expert-led sessions, 1:1 mentoring programs and peer support groups.
Sydney-based Greblo made Banksia Academy after a personal experience in 2020 led to the idea.
“I know first-hand the challenges female survivors may face. Research indicates that more than 1 million women in Australia experience or will experience violence, emotional abuse and stalking every year, with 90% of these women also being financially abused,” she said.
“For women who want to leave abusive relationships, their choice is often violence or poverty, and many women return to abusive relationships for mainly financial reasons – it’s just not good enough. Banksia Academy is here to help break the cycle and support the long-term financial independence of female survivors.”
Greblo said she wants to “collectively lift the gaze of the community” to help survivors.
“For lasting social change, we need to look beyond low-skilled work and living on the poverty line, and focus on holistically supporting women into higher-skilled jobs,” she said.
The positive impacts on women, their children and future generations are incomparable to the status quo.”
Banksia Academy’s Hub provides women with access to:
Personal development & training opportunities: Banksia Academy partners with Ubiquity University to offer a range of more than 40 personal development and education courses, including communication strategies, personal productivity and presentation skills. work readiness. It has put together a work readiness program to help female survivors re-enter the labor market.
Employment trajectories: Banksia Academy partnered with Scribed to provide flexible, digital employment opportunities for women, with more partners to be announced later this year.
All around support: Women have access to a calendar of weekly programs and events they can attend, including journaling sessions and meditations, as well as expert-led sessions by family lawyers, financial advisers, child psychologists, etc. Mentoring: 1:1 mentoring programs are available, connecting survivors with trauma-informed support to help them achieve their educational and career goals.
Support from peerst: The hub provides access to virtual peer support groups to stay connected no matter where women live in Australia.
Additional Support References: The hub connects women with crisis services and other relevant support services to help them in all facets of their recovery.
Tara Nelson Carnegie said she was delighted that the Vasudhara WildWomen Fund was able to invest in Banksia Academy to give women another chance to change their lives.
“For many of these women, living on the poverty line is the only option they can see and this is simply unacceptable in 2022,” she said.
“Having worked personally with Melanie on a number of projects over the past decade, I know that if anyone can push the button on this issue, it is her. I am delighted that the VWWF has the honor of supporting a woman who dares to dreaming of an over-the-horizon solution to this problem.”
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