SCARF is joining forces with MCCI

Two well-known Illawarra organisations are joining forces to provide even greater support for people from refugee backgrounds starting a new life in Australia.

Members of SCARF, a not-for-profit organisation that supports more than 2000 people from refugee communities, recently voted to merge with MCCI (Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra).

After 15 years of supporting newly arrived refugees in the Illawarra, the Board of SCARF actively sought to join with a like-minded organisation to provide greater financial stability and secure the long-term future of SCARF’s highly valued community programs.

SCARF Chair Kath McCollim said she was delighted that members supported the merger proposal at recent special meeting.

“As a very well-regarded service provider to migrant communities, MCCI is the ideal organisation for SCARF to merge with – in fact we’ve already worked together on many projects,” Ms McCollim said.

“Between us, we’ve made a positive difference to thousands of lives and merging will enable us to increase our impact even further.”

It’s important to stress that SCARF will keep its name and branding and our team of wonderful volunteers will continue to deliver our programs to refugee communities in the Illawarra. The merger will also open up the potential to expand our services in the future.”

The Chair of MCCI, Ken Habak OAM, said the merger decision was a positive move for both organisations.

“We see this as a win for the community. MCCI and SCARF have strong connections with migrant and refugee communities, and we look forward to the increased impact our combined approach will bring,”

Mr Ken Habak, Chair of MCCI

“SCARF’s programs and impact are highly successful, and by coming together we’ll share our back-office systems and support to the community. SCARF’s dedicated volunteer and staff team will operate from office space in our Wollongong premises, which we know has been missed by the community during COVID” Mr Habak said.

“As the regional peak body for multicultural communities, MCCI has been building a sense of belonging for new and established migrants since 1975. We are delighted to join forces with the SCARF team to continue the important work of helping people from refugee backgrounds to build a new life in Australia.”

Following the completion of legal processes for the merger, the new arrangements are expected to take effect from October this year.

Natalie Wilkins
Author: Natalie Wilkins