This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Many Hands Come Together To Support Women From Refugee Backgrounds

Community

Melbourne-based events social enterprise Merchant Road has just launched Many Hands, with support from some local hospitality heavyweights and much-loved creatives.

The eight-week paid-training initiative aims to create better employment opportunities for women from refugee backgrounds. To celebrate, they’ve produced this series of powerful portraits – a showcase of the resilience, strength, and potential of all the women involved!

17th June, 2019

Many Hands participants Nikki and Zeituna. Photo – Stina Evjan, of Gold and Grit Photography and Breeana Dunbar. Art direction – SO.LE studio.
Participants wear Arnsdorf apparel and Habbot footwear. Floristry by Cecilia Fox.

Many Hands participants Jess and Raga. Photo – Stina Evjan, of Gold and Grit Photography and Breeana Dunbar. Art direction – SO.LE studio.
Participants wear Arnsdorf apparel and Habbot footwear.

Many Hands participant Asanti. Photo – Stina Evjan, of Gold and Grit Photography and Breeana Dunbar. Art direction – SO.LE studio.
Participants wear Arnsdorf apparel and Habbot footwear. Floristry by Cecilia Fox, linens by In Bed Store.

Merchant Road founder Jane Marx. Photo – Stina Evjan, of Gold and Grit Photography and Breeana Dunbar. Art direction – SO.LE studio.
Jane wear Arnsdorf apparel and Habbot footwear. Floristry by Cecilia Fox, linens by In Bed Store.

Elle Murrell
Monday 17th June 2019

‘… strength, style, and power emanate from the women we work with.’ – Jane Marx.

Merchant Road believe that true hospitality is about welcoming others, and forging a sense of community around a table.

The Melbourne-based not-for-profit has just launched their new training program Many Hands. By providing eight weeks of paid training to women experiencing barriers to employment, it aims to equip participants with skills to find work in the events and hospitality industry.

‘The program has already helped me in many ways; it has not only helped me in gaining experience, skills, and knowledge in a practical environment, but also prepared me for job opportunities and made my resume broader and now I can proudly say I have the experience, and hence I am a good candidate for more employment opportunities,’ tells Many Hands participant Zeituna.

True to its name, the initiative leverages the strength of collaboration. Skills in coffee making, service, wine, and floristry, are being taught by the likes of Market Lane Coffee, Milieu Hospitality, Rachel Signer, Cecilia Fox, and Candy Mountain.

‘Merchant Road is a not-for-profit with a social mission to empower women through work, and the way we do this is quite unique’. explains founder Jane Marx. ‘We partner with the best busi­nesses in the industry; we have a strong signa­ture aesthetic and we create really special dining experiences. Ultimately, we invite people to come to the events we run so they can experience something exceptional. If they support our social mission, that’s a bonus!’

To celebrate its launch, Merchant Road has produced this powerful photo series inspired by a portrait of female entrepreneurs in CEO Magazine. ‘Obviously, the young women we work with are very much at the beginning of their career journey. However, when I saw that image, I thought, that’s us there. That same strength, style, and power emanate from the women we work with. This is an important step in changing the visual narrative of what a strong woman looks like,’ explains Jane.

Merchant Road worked with Australian-designed, Italian-made footwear label Habbot, local sustainable label Arnsdorf, Cecilia Fox, In Bed Store and SO.LE studio on the exquisite campaign, which was shot at The Establishment Studios in Fitzroy.

Funded by the Victorian Government’s Pick My Project initiative, Many Hands is currently being run as a pilot program with 14 young women until December. A series of long-table dinners will take place at the conclusion of each training, providing program participants with the opportunity to gain experience hosting events open to the public.

Purchase tickets for Many Hands’ upcoming dinners here. Find out more about the initiative at Merchantrd.com.

This Week

Homes

A Beloved Family Home, Re-Built From The Ground Up

After a freak accident destroyed most of their Narre Warren North home, Sarah Woodhouse and Brad Nicholls designed a new and improved versio...

Family

Weaver Maryanne Moodie Reflects On Birth, ADHD + Her Coven Of Mothers

The mother of two reflects on parenting the most challenging version of yourself, and the 'birth' that lasts years and years – becoming a
Ashe Davenport

Dream Job

The Perks Of Being a Food Writer, According To One Of Australia’s Top Restaurant Critics!

Senior restaurant critic at The Age, Gemima Cody, shares what it's really like to be a food writer.

Gardens

A Layered Garden, Designed Around A Liquidambar Tree

Ben Scott Garden Design have created richly layered garden in Camberwell, tailored to a Victorian home with a contemporary extension.

Stays

A Delightfully Rustic, Country Style Getaway

Book your stay at the beautifully restored Airbnb, Marge's Cottage, in South Gippsland.
Amelia Barnes

Sustainable Homes

A Heritage Home, Retrofitted To The Highest Sustainability Standards

The ‘Passive Butterfly’ house - a renovated weatherboard home, with 90 per cent reduced heating and cooling costs.

Studio Visit

The Miniature Boat Maker Working Out Of An Off-Grid Shipping Container

Meet Captain Elise Cameron Smith – ‘miniature boat maker and builder of dreams’!

Architecture

A Contemporary Home Inspired By Heritage Architecture

Wolveridge Architecture balance contemporary design and art deco references, in Melbourne's Ascot Vale.

Architecture

Is This Australia's Answer to Palm Springs' Iconic Kaufmann House?

A seriously impressive home in Toowoomba, Queensland by Shaun Lockyer Architects, inspired by mid-century architecture.
Amelia Barnes
  7 hours ago

The Good Room

Rose Chong's Fabulous Rooftop (With Pool!) In Fitzroy!

Fitzroy's costume queen shares her unexpected rooftop haven, above her Fitzroy shop.
Lisa Marie Corso

Food

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's Fragrant Roast Chicken With Mango Salad

Julia shares an innovative recipe to put all those delicious summer mangos to excellent use!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura
  15 hours ago

Architecture

A Home That Completely Transforms With A Few Quick Switches

Designed as an artist's retreat using mostly recycled materials, The Sawmill House by Archier is a home for all seasons!

News

Make Your Pledge To Protect The Bush

Independent not-for-profit Bush Heritage calls on the community to pledge their commitment to land and wildlife protection and conversation....
Sponsored

Interiors

A Nearly Demolished Home Turned Interior Masterpiece!

Junctions90 have redesigned this 1850s Melbourne house so it will never be demolished.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Dream Job

Nayran Tabiei · Cooking Instructor, Free to Feed

In between guiding a group of receptive young participants through the art of tabouli-tiny parsley chopping, the former Damascene chronicles...
Elle Murrell

Australian Fashion

Labels We Love At Melbourne Fashion Week

With Melbourne Fashion Week commencing his Friday, we spotlight seven Aussie labels worthy of your attention!
Kate Gaskin

Community

'Refugee Camp In My Neighbourhood' Launches In Sydney

An immersive event bringing together community members from refugee backgrounds, who act as 'tour guides' in a simulated refugee camp. 
Elle Murrell

This Week

Gardens

A Layered Garden, Designed Around A Liquidambar Tree

Ben Scott Garden Design have created richly layered garden in Camberwell, tailored to a Victorian home with a contemporary extension.

Studio Visit

The Miniature Boat Maker Working Out Of An Off-Grid Shipping Container

Meet Captain Elise Cameron Smith – ‘miniature boat maker and builder of dreams’!

Family

Weaver Maryanne Moodie Reflects On Birth, ADHD + Her Coven Of Mothers

The mother of two reflects on parenting the most challenging version of yourself, and the 'birth' that lasts years and years – becoming a
Ashe Davenport

Sustainable Homes

A Heritage Home, Retrofitted To The Highest Sustainability Standards

The ‘Passive Butterfly’ house - a renovated weatherboard home, with 90 per cent reduced heating and cooling costs.

Stays

A Delightfully Rustic, Country Style Getaway

Book your stay at the beautifully restored Airbnb, Marge's Cottage, in South Gippsland.
Amelia Barnes

Dream Job

The Perks Of Being a Food Writer, According To One Of Australia’s Top Restaurant Critics!

Senior restaurant critic at The Age, Gemima Cody, shares what it's really like to be a food writer.

Homes

A Beloved Family Home, Re-Built From The Ground Up

After a freak accident destroyed most of their Narre Warren North home, Sarah Woodhouse and Brad Nicholls designed a new and improved versio...

News

Make Your Pledge To Protect The Bush

Independent not-for-profit Bush Heritage calls on the community to pledge their commitment to land and wildlife protection and conversation....
Sponsored

The Good Room

Rose Chong's Fabulous Rooftop (With Pool!) In Fitzroy!

Fitzroy's costume queen shares her unexpected rooftop haven, above her Fitzroy shop.
Lisa Marie Corso

Interiors

A Nearly Demolished Home Turned Interior Masterpiece!

Junctions90 have redesigned this 1850s Melbourne house so it will never be demolished.

Architecture

Is This Australia's Answer to Palm Springs' Iconic Kaufmann House?

A seriously impressive home in Toowoomba, Queensland by Shaun Lockyer Architects, inspired by mid-century architecture.
Amelia Barnes
  7 hours ago

Architecture

A Contemporary Home Inspired By Heritage Architecture

Wolveridge Architecture balance contemporary design and art deco references, in Melbourne's Ascot Vale.

Food

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's Fragrant Roast Chicken With Mango Salad

Julia shares an innovative recipe to put all those delicious summer mangos to excellent use!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura
  15 hours ago

Architecture

A Home That Completely Transforms With A Few Quick Switches

Designed as an artist's retreat using mostly recycled materials, The Sawmill House by Archier is a home for all seasons!

Similar Stories

Dream Job

Nayran Tabiei · Cooking Instructor, Free to Feed

The former Damascene chronicles her long and winding journey to a safe and purposeful present.
Elle Murrell

Australian Fashion

Labels We Love At Melbourne Fashion Week

With Melbourne Fashion Week commencing his Friday, we spotlight seven Aussie labels worthy of your attention!
Kate Gaskin

Community

'Refugee Camp In My Neighbourhood' Launches In Sydney

An immersive event bringing together community members from refugee backgrounds, who act as 'tour guides' in a simulated refugee camp. 
Elle Murrell