Ethni is a social enterprise that offers unique experiences that bring together culture and creativity. All our experiences are facilitated by young women from culturally diverse backgrounds, who draw on their own cultural knowledge and creative talents to provide fun and engaging activities for all ages.
Through the experiences we offer, we hope to achieve our purpose of sharing and celebrating the vibrant cultures that call Australia home, while providing supported and meaningful employment opportunities for young women from culturally diverse backgrounds. Learn more about our Creative Futures pathway for young women.
Our journey started over 10 years ago in Wellington, New Zealand, where Ethni founder and owner Kim Rollason-Nokes launched her own small business making beaded jewellery and running kids beading parties. While this small business was wrapped up when she left for Australia in 2012 to continue her career in the non-profit sector, the idea and her passion for creativity and arts stayed with her.
After moving to Brisbane in 2014, Kim found herself working with young people from culturally diverse backgrounds, particularly those who had arrived in Australia as refugees. She found that one of the biggest challenges for young people from refugee, migrant and culturally diverse backgrounds, was bridging the gap between education and employment. This is due to many barriers, from lack of work experience in Australia and language barriers to perception and (unfortunate) prejudices. This is further compounded for young women who face additional cultural barriers around appropriate employment.
Kim started thinking about how she could use her experience and skills to address some of these challenges. In particular, she was excited to see how her old jewellery and beading party business model could be transformed to a social enterprise to create a range of unique products and services, while also providing meaningful employment for young women. With this vision in mind, Ethni came to life in 2017.