Space2Fly is Up and Away!

A new project has begun at Space2b, with a new group of inspiring people, learning new skills and all happening in a brand new year!

We have been fortunate enough to have been funded by The City of Port Phillip and The City of Greater Dandenong to support our Space2Fly Programmes.

Within the projects we have over 15 participants, from all walks of life, from all types of backgrounds and cultures. These include Mentors, Trainers and Trainees. Some members are from our previous project Ready To Fly, including valued business woman Tracey Van Ingen who will be mentoring a previous trainee Chaw Po this year.

And we’ll be welcoming new participants such as Japanese maker Ayaka Ieki and our new design Mentor Maleeha Faiq.

Some of the team..Janine, Lucy, Fatima, Helen, Chaw, Lei Lei, Dupe, Sharifeh and Maleeha.

The projects will run until June 2018, in both our St Kilda shop at 144 Chapel Street and also in Dandenong with Chaw being the Trainer this time.

Through 1:1 mentoring and a series of ‘starting up a small business’ workshops, participants will learn a range of both practical and administrational skills, to enable them to design, create and then progress onto selling their handmade products in retail.


Chaw and one of her trainees Pha Lae making baskets & toys


It’s going to be an exciting journey for all involved.


It’s about sharing…Sharing of knowledge, sharing of skills and sharing of time.

Learning from one another; working alongside people from all walks of life. Giving everyone purpose, building confidence and encouraging the willingness to develop themselves within a creative and community led environment.

Lucy Worsley


Partnerships are what we are about!

Our Space2work program is about connecting local residents with new migrants settling into Australia. Through the program participants are able to share their knowledge and creativity in a space where everyone can feel welcome and supported. Shivani and Darartu work together on Fridays. Come along and say hi!


Space2work is kindly supported by The City of Port Phillip


Meet Catrina Sofo, our new Space2work coordinator

Space2work is our work experience and job placement program which has been supported by The City of Port Phillip to establish this program and trial it.

Meet Catrina Sofo, our new program co-ordinator and Darartu, one of the participants.

There are currently 10 participants on the program, 5 Port Phillip residents and 5 new migrants who are working and training together in our core business areas, including retail, marketing, accounting and event management.  The program also provides local volunteers and new migrants the opportunity to engage and connect whilst gaining work experience, skills and references.

Space2work is under way!

Thanks to a grant from the City of Port Phillip, Space2b has been able to provide workplace training to local residents, as well as new migrants and refugees through the Space2work program. The ladies have been working together to share skills and knowledge, and help run the Space2b retail space! The talent and creativity is boundless and the shop has had a hit of energy and vibrancy. Come visit us at Space2b shop! Or if you’re interested in becoming a part of Space2work, please email

Spring has Sprung and we are getting Ready to Fly!

With the start of a new season upon us and one that represents new growth and fresh ideas, we are excited about the possibilities that everyone is working with and the products that are being created.

It’s been a supportive and nourishing time for the team and the group is feeling stronger and working beautifully together day-by-day. There’s a steady rhythm we’re working too; a pattern of events, but we are also trying to remember to stop, reflect and see how far these women have come and embrace that journey with them.
Tenzins smiles would light up any room!
With Christmas drawing closer the trainees have been working on special ‘one-off’ products  which will be ready to go on sale at our end of project Christmas Market being held at Heritage Hill Dandenong in December.
Keep an eye out for our market date and I will keep you updated on this nearer the time.
Sharifeh and her beautiful mother sharing ideas
In the meantime we have been selling some of the finished pieces of work at Salon Brown in St Kilda, who are a wonderful supporter of the Project and Space2b. We have also been looking for a permanent retail outlet for Space2b, where we will be selling everyone’s creations soon and where we will continue to support them with this process.
So watch this space! Lots happening..Happy Spring to you, from all at Ready to Fly.
Chaw happily cutting out a children’s dress pattern at Heritage Hill

Meet Vicky Deresa, our Space2work program coordinator

Hi! I’m Vicky – the new Program Coordinator for Space2work – Space2work is a new program that aims to provide employment pathways for people from refugee and asylum seeking backgrounds as well as newly arrived migrants. On-the-job work experience, improved English language skills and general work skills are some of the outcomes for people participating in the program.

I am pretty excited to be part of the magic that is Space2b!! I come from a background in Community Development, working with women in prostitution and the prison system specifically. I am also a trained silversmith and have recently started a small business based in Elsternwick which involves selling wares made by local artists – lots of connections and reasons to be part of Space2b! I’m really keen to get to know everyone in the Space2b community and learn more about what we can all achieve together.

Space2work has been kindly supported by the City of Port Phillip.

Workshop Time at Twich

What a busy few weeks for the Ready to Fly Programme and now both the trainees and mentors are in full flow! It has been incredible to watch and be part of everyone’s creative and personal journeys. Seeing how individuals are progressing, reflecting on the first few weeks and realising that we are now half way through the project.


All trainees are working on creating a series of products; to achieve this they are trialling initial samples, learning about a whole range of areas including different material types and restrictions, sizing and costing. Students are predominately working with Australian made materials where possible.



Tenzin with her Bendigo Woollen Booties

Each week feels incredibly special and rewarding, it’s as if we are creating a ‘creative community’ together; supporting one another, encouraging each other to share ideas, resources and knowledge freely. Everyday brings exciting new developments and we’re able to see this through one-to-one mentoring and group discussions.

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Alongside our sessions at Heritage Hill, we also coordinate off-site workshops with independent designers and instructors.

This week some of the students got the opportunity to learn the basics of pattern grading with the talented Costume Designer and Maker Alison Yiu.

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Sharifeh and Chaw hard at work…

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Alison and Abuk

We try to create workshops to suit individuals’ needs; this particular one is perfect for the fashion designers and makers within the group.

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We were lucky enough to be able to hold this particular short course at one of our trainees workshops in Springvale. Abuk Bol runs a fashion retail space which combines the designing, making and sales all under one roof.

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The sewing school is called Twich Women’s Sewing Collective and teaches the Certificate Level 3 in Clothing and Production as part of RMIT University.

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It was a fantastic day and enjoyed by all.

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Thanks goes to Alison for leading such a great workshop and to Abuk for allowing us to use her shop space.

More project updates coming soon…


Heritage Hill – A Story to Tell

Well..what a great few weeks it’s been for the Ready To Fly project. The trainee’s are into their seventh session, sampling is well under way and progress is evident.

With plenty of direction, advice and laughter on hand to keep everyone going, there’s certainly a feeling of routine and community within the group and part of this is also due to the venue; it’s beginning to feel like a second home to some of us.

13389192_10153520390766176_1014720612_oTenzin and Saffron working with Bendigo Mill Yarns

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Knitted and crochet work

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Chaw’s steady hand with pattern cutting

We are extremely grateful to have the support of the Heritage Hill Museum and in particular their ever friendly and always helpful Community Programs Officer Bridget Flood. Dating back to 1869, it is a beautiful space to work in.

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Our beautiful workspace

With historic gardens, a vegetable plot, trees that are currently fruiting with juicy oranges and lemons and resident artists’ that are painting in the surrounds, its couldn’t be more perfect for us.

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The vegetable garden

I often think that when we’re there it’s as if we are stepping back in time. It’s our own serene place where we can escape from the hustle and bustle of the City of Dandenong, feel at ease with one another and comfortable to create.

As the programme develops I must take the time and opportunity to send thanks to the site team and to Bridget and her colleagues for allowing us to be a part of Heritage Hill’s story and use this secret gem in Centre Dandenong.


More updates to follow…watch this space!

For more information on Heritage Hill please click here:


Ready To Fly – Mentoring program in Dandenong

Our Ready to Fly program is all systems go!

We are now into our second month of the course and are already achieving some incredible things.
Working with ten creatively talented women from mixed backgrounds and an experienced selection of designers; we are working side-by- side developing ideas, sharing knowledge and forming some wonderful relationships.

The diversity of all of our trainees is outstanding, coming from all walks of life, sharing the enjoyment of creativity and working towards a range of products to eventually sell to the Australian market.

Meet the Team

Meet the Team

We are a ‘creative community’, learning and sharing ideas and conversing in a whole range of languages.

The workshops take place in the perfect surrounding of Heritage Hill in Dandenong. They have kindly donated a space for us to meet and a beautiful garden to sit and drink tea in together (which of course is very important to the program).
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   Beautiful Heritage Hill, Dandenong

So far, we have collectively looked at researching, investigating and understanding design and the Australian consumer. Trainees are in the stages of designing and developing initial product ideas and sourcing of materials. It’s an exciting time and one that we are all embracing and learning from on a daily basis.


Group discussions


One-to-one support


Thanks go to the City of Dandenong for their funding and to AMES Australia and the Southern Migrant and Refugee Centre for their support.

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Crochet with one of our Mentors Saffron

More updates to follow as the program progresses….