The Social Outfit is a not-for-profit, incorporated association based in Sydney, NSW. The Social Outfit is Sydney’s own sister organsation to The Social Studio. The Social Outfit is a registered charity.
Developing The Social Outfit is an initiative of a number of dedicated people (scroll down to see who we are). We think The Social Studio’s creative approach is truly appealing, and replicating this model offers a great opportunity to improve the lives of people from refugee backgrounds living in the greater Sydney area. We are people and professionals who work in the not for profit sector and creative industries broadly:
- Althea Mackenzie
- (Treasurer) Antonia Ruffell, CEO, Australian Philanthropic Services
- Amir Kamrani, The Social Outfit volunteer
- Chloe Wilson, The Social Outfit volunteer
- (Chair) David Ajak Ajang, ‘Communities in Cultural Transitions’ Project Officer, STARTTS
- (Vice Chair) David Hardie, Founder and Director, Slingsby Foundation
- (Advisor) David Moutou, Community Place Development Officer, Parramatta City Council
- Emma Kate Wallace, The Social Outfit & Fairfield High School fashion project teacher, and founder WEFT-shop
- (Advisor) Grace McQuilten, CEO, The Social Studio
- (CEO) Jackie Ruddock, leading the establishment of The Social Outfit
- (Advisor) Jo Taylor, Strategy Manager at Dusseldorp Skills Forum
- Kit Shutt, Intern at The Social Outfit (until June 2013)
- Mathura Sinnappurajar, The Social Outfit volunteer
- (Advisor) Meredith Turnbull, Founder and Director, Adaptive Projects
- (Board Member) Nina Maya Skrzynski, Founder, Nina Maya
- (Advisor) Paul Bide, business mentor to Jackie Ruddock
- (Board Member) Sarah Chisholm, Co-founder Green Connect Illawarra, Project Manager Resource Recovery Australia
- Stephanie Skinner, The Social Outfit volunteer
Plus, we have many more supporters and allies helping us with this work. As we develop, we’ll be sure to introduce them to you. This work *really* is a group effort!
Antonia Ruffell: Antonia is the CEO of Australian Philanthropic Services (APS), a not-for-profit organisation that inspires and supports effective philanthropy, and provides education for individuals and advisers. In this role, she sets up and administers private and public ancillary funds and helps individuals to plan their grantmaking so they can support the community more effectively. With over 15 years’ experience in leadership, strategic development, fundraising, marketing and philanthropy across the corporate and not-for-profit sectors, Antonia has always been passionate about social change and finding ways for people to work together to achieve change. Before joining APS, she held senior roles with Perpetual, the Royal Agricultural Society Foundation, Mission Australia, The Prince’s Trust in the UK, and ING Australia. She is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Graduate of Sydney Leadership 2007, a social leadership program that aims to create leaders able to understand and respond to complex social issues.
Chloe Wilson: In the UK, Chloe managed a successful pub for over ten years. This involved liaising with the council and police, managing staff, ordering, book keeping, stock control and other myriad tasks. Since coming to Australia in 2003 she has worked as a customer service manager, inventory manager and operations manager for Borders Books and as an inventory control specialist for Apple Retail. In the last couple of years Chloe has gained a Certificate III in Education Support and is currently working as a teachers’ aid for St Brendanʼs School in Annandale. Chloe is also working in a volunteer capacity for The Social Outfit.
David Ajak Ajang: Ajak has worked with the refugees and migrants’ communities in different capacities since 2003. He is currently the ‘Communities in Cultural Transitions’ Project Officer at the NSW Services for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS). Previously Ajak managed the social enterprise, ‘Dancing in Harmony’, which involved coordinating a creative program aimed at developing the arts in African communities, especially dance for wider Australian audiences. Ajak has also worked with the NSW Police as an Ethnic Community Liaison Officer / Multicultural Community Liaison Officer and as a Bicultural Counsellor (African Project) at STARTTS.
David Hardie: Over a 30 year career, David Hardie has worked in government, nonprofit and philanthropy organisations, most recently at the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation and The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund. David’s professional background is the government sector, holding managerial positions at Sydney Water Corporation from 1998 to 2007. He has managed large-scale employee development programs and successfully led teams through major periods of change. David also has extensive volunteer experience in diverse roles, including telephone counselling, refugee settlement assistance and youth mentoring. He completed the Sydney Leadership Program in 2004, leading to his career transition to the nonprofit and philanthropic sector. From 2008 to 2010 he helped establish and manage a successful education support program for school students from a refugee background. David has a Bachelor of Business (Charles Sturt), Master of Policy Studies (UNSW) and Graduate Certificates in Environmental Policy (UNSW) and Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (QUT). He is a Director of Slingsby Holdings Pty Ltd and the Founder and Director of the Slingsby Foundation.
David Moutou: David is part of the Community Capacity Building Team at Parramatta City Council as Community Place Development Officer, where he administers Council’s community, arts, heritage and social enterprise grant programs, as well as the ClubGRANTS scheme in Parramatta. Before joining Council, David was Development Manager at The Twenty10 Association, a community organisation that worked with young people of diverse genders, sexes and sexualities, their families and communities. Between 2005-2011 he was also a Director of The Aurora Group, a philanthropic foundation that supports programs benefiting the GLBT communities of NSW, serving as their Chairperson for the last two years, and is now a life member. David has almost finished his Masters of Social Investment and Philanthropy at Swinburne University of Technology. David is also an Alumni of the Sydney Leadership Program run through Social Leadership Australia at the Benevolent Society of NSW, completing the program in 2008.
Emma Kate Wallace: I am a National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) trained costumier and theatrical tailor with ten years experience in pattern-making, costume construction and craftsmanship.I use these skills in my current role as co-founder and director of WEFT shop: a Sydney-based incorporated non-profit enterprise working with refugee women artisans on the Thai-Burma border to create contemporary, handmade textile accessories, incorporating traditional techniques such as appliqué and metal beading, for sale in Australia. My work with refugee artisans on the Thai-Burma border began in 2006, and I have now facilitated and taught more than 30 workshops with more than 100 women from a variety of ethnic groups.My approach to teaching is highly collaborative with a respect and appreciation that we all have skills to share; we just need to create a space that makes this possible. I am also passionate about skills preservation and working with the skills each ethnic group has to offer.
Grace McQuilten: Grace is the founder and CEO of The Social Studio. Her background is in academic research, teaching and community development and she is currently an Honourary Fellow in the School of Culture and Communications at the University of Melbourne, with research expertise in the relationship between art, design and social change. In 2011 Grace was the recipient of a Churchill scholarship, to undertake research into creative social enterprise models overseas. She took this research trip in May-June 2012. Grace has worked for over eight years in community development, overseeing projects including crisis housing, ESL support, legal referral services, driver education and hospitality training.
L-R: Grace, Helen, Po and Jackie at The Social Studio’s fifth runway collection show.
Jackie Ruddock: Jackie is the CEO of The Social Outfit in Sydney, NSW. The Social Outfit is the sister organisation to The Social Studio: a social enterprise which provides education, skills and employment, in order to promote the rich creativity of people from refugee communities. The Social Studio achieves this purpose by having a fashion label, including on-site manufacturing, retail store, and a cafe community space.
Jackie Ruddock has worked professionally within the charity sector for ten years, and in the social entrepreneurship sector for over five years in Australia. She is a project manager and researcher in the fields of education, health, communications, multiculturalism and sexuality/gender. Jackie’s specialty is managing complex, multi-year projects that involve stakeholders from within communities, government sectors, not-for-profit organisations and corporate sectors. Her focus has been on developing, designing and implementing strength-based projects that seek to improve the health and wellbeing of socially marginalised Australian communities.
Jackie has previously held senior management roles at The School for Social Entrepreneurs, FAR Social Enterprise, and Streetwize Communications. She has also worked as a Research Associate at the Journalism and Media Research Centre, University of NSW, Family Planning NSW and the Twenty10 Association. Jackie has published academic peer-reviewed journals, and spoken at conferences regularly in her areas of expertise.
Jackie was awarded her Masters of Philosophy in Gender & Cultural Studies in 2011 (University of Sydney), and holds Honours in Education (UNSW), as well as qualifying as a NSW high school teacher. She completed the Sydney Leadership Program in 2006.
An avid fashion recycler and philanthropist, Jackie is also learning about social media through her blogs, ShowTellShare (www.showtellshare.com) and formerly, of What Ken Be Done (www.goodfashionforgood.com).
Jo Taylor: is Strategy Manager at Dusseldorp Skills Forum. Her main aim is to work collaboratively cross sector and build a strong internal platform to enable the DSF team to turn our new vision into practical action.
Jo has spent the last 20 years involved in various aspects of the not for profit and philanthropic sectors overseas and in Australia. She was part of the 1997 Comic Relief fundraising team that raised over $100 million for projects in Africa and the UK. As a grant maker she’s helped distribute over $50 million through public institutions, and family foundations as well as implementing a national capacity building grants program direct to young people in their communities. Jo has had the pleasure of leading amazing teams to establish new ventures including the School for Social Entrepreneurs Australia and managed grass roots organisations such as Streetwize Communications. She’s worked with people and organisations that have had an overwhelmingly positive transformational impact, the meanderingly mediocre and the down right dangerous to both staff and clients. And in response she created FAR Social Enterprise with Jackie Ruddock to support the development of the not for profit sector and work with CEOs and Boards at points of critical change (Oxfam International Youth Partnerships, GetUp!, Foundation for Young Australians, Australian Youth Affairs Coalition, Youth Action and Policy Association, Social Leadership Australia, and NSW Health, NSW Department for Women, World Health Organisation and NSW Anti –Homophobia Interagency.) After taking time out to enjoy having two children Jo has returned as Strategy Manager at Dusseldorp Skills Forum, where she is working with the new Executive Director to turn their new strategy into practical reality.
Mathura Sinnappurajar: Hi everyone! Just to fill you in on a little about me. I have just moved to Sydney to start my postgraduate study at Macquarie University. I was raised in Canberra, and spent a few years living in Papua New Guinea with my family. I tried out a few different courses at university before deciding that I wanted to do a Bachelor of Arts degree. I chose a particular combination of majors as I am interested in supporting the humanitarian and human rights issues related to refugees. I have been lucky enough to travel overseas and teach English in South Africa and Turkey, and have also had the opportunity to assist a teacher at a school in Sri Lanka. I am excited to work with Jackie and the wonderful team at The Social Outfit.
Meredith Turnbull: Meredith is the founder and director of Adaptive Projects, a coaching and consulting company targeting leadership and social enterprise development in the Australian social sector. She has over 15 years experience in the community, health and social change sectors of Australia. In the past, Meredith has worked as the Executive Director of the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition, Director of GetUp! and as the Executive Officer for the Twenty Ten Association. Prior to these roles Meredith was the Executive Officer of the Youth Affairs Council of WA, the Coordinator of the Freedom Centre and a Project Officer with the WA AIDS Council. Additionally Meredith has held executive positions on the boards of many small and large NGO organisations. She holds a Bachelor of Social Science and a Masters of Business Administration and completed The Benevolent Society’s Sydney Leadership Program in 2007.
Nina Maya Skrzynski: Nina is one of Australia’s most outstanding designers renowned for creating collections with an emphasis on quality, silhouette and finishing. Since the launch of her Nina Maya label in 2006, she has developed a strong following from industry, celebrity and consumers alike. Completing a design degree, majoring in textiles at the College of Fine Arts Sydney, Nina has always held a strong penchant for fashion. Following this, she set off for London for an internship at a leading textile firm, before relocating to Italy where she worked for a luxury fashion house. Nina was honoured by an invitation to design her own range for the company, which was produced shortly after. Following her work abroad, Nina returned to Australia to establish her own business and further her self-titled label. Created with a style and design philosophy against the trend of disposable fashion, her focus on sustainability and a desire to create investment pieces have served as a solid foundation for the label’s success. Nina’s desire to push the envelope in design has seen her develop an artisan-like approach to her label.
In July 2009, the Nina Maya label was selected by MYER to be included in their stable of designer collections and is now stocked nationally. The brand has developed strong working relationships with a select group of celebrities, most notably creating one-off red carpet designs for Jennifer Hawkins, Rebecca Twigley and Delta Goodrem. The resulting recognition of this saw the introduction of the Nina Maya Bespoke service in which customers have the opportunity to have demi-couture designs created personally by Nina for a specific occasion or event.
Nina Maya has now extended the application of her skills to launch Nina Maya Interiors. After returning from London to Sydney, Nina Maya Interiors was launched in early 2012. Since then, Nina Maya has completed residential and commercial interiors design projects in Sydney and Beijing, China.
In terms of philanthropic work, Nina is a Trustee of the Sky Foundation, a founding member of the ‘10 x 10 Project’ (aimed at engendering a culture of philanthropy and giving within the young professional and creative communities) and a member of the New Gen initiative at Philanthropy Australia.
Sarah Chisholm: Sarah is co-founder of SCARF Incorporated’s recycling social enterprise, Green Connect Illawarra. This enterprise currently provides 90 refugees, who are locally based, opportunities in training, work experience and employment. Sarah was awarded the ‘Top Gong’ Award in 2010 for her work with the refugee community in a fashion micro enterprise, The African Women’s Sewing Circle. Most recently, Sarah was Manager of Social Enterprise and Innovation at Job Futures, a leading national network of not for profit employment providers, including over 30 social enterprises. Sarah has worked on social inclusion program design and development for over 12 years, with a particular focus on refugee communities, social enterprise and employment. Sarah has a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Science and Policy and a Graduate Certificate in Social Enterprise from Sydney University Business School.
Currently Sarah is also the Project Manager of Resource Recovery Australia.
L-R: Yar and Sarah celebrating their micro-enteprise The African Women’s Sewing Circle, winner of the 2010 Top Gong Award. Members of The African Women’s Sewing Circle hold stalls at Coledale markets (http://wollongongmarkets.squarespace.com).
Stephanie Skinner: Hello! Just a short blurb about me. I have moved back to Sydney after 12 months working in Cambodia as a Handicrafts Marketing and Production Technical Advisor for a non-government organisation. Previous to this I have worked for the fashion, retail and financial industries after completing studies in fashion design and technology, design and business. After my wonderful experience in Cambodia I have decided to start studying again in a Bachelor of Social Work to help promote social change. I can’t wait to start sharing my skills to benefit the local community and what better way than with The Social Outfit! I am really looking forward to exploring the creativity within the migrant and refugee community alongside the team.