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Pat Hall: Westfield Local Heroes 2018

Entrepreneurial Pat launches a chain of businesses to break cycle of unemployment

The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant has enabled Liverpool Neigbourhood Connections to continue to work towards creating educational and employment pathway for women in our local community.

More than 190 hours of wages have been paid out to disadvantaged women, along with one full scholarship being offered.

Pat is the CEO of Liverpool Neighbourhood Connections, a charity that provides education and mentoring to 22,000 disadvantaged women and families a year.

As if facilitating 65 social and vocational groups a week and a TAFE hospitality program is not enough, Pat’s new passion is to provide women with paid employment and work experience.

To do this she and her team launched several small businesses: a canteen concession at a school, a coffee kiosk at a library, a second-hand clothing business, a lawnmower cleaning service and a mobile coffee business.

The first enterprise, Pepper's Place, grew from an informal coffee break at which people gave a dollar donation for raisin toast. “We didn’t even realise it was an enterprise when it started,” says Pat.

Five years later she has it all mapped out. Marginalised women are attracted to the centre through a variety of soft entry points and the most engaged among them make it into an enterprise, via a TAFE course.

From there, the idea is that they get a job on the open market, says Pat, who is pleased to be a Westfield Local Hero. “We are changing the women’s lives and their children’s lives. It feels great to be recognised. Everyone wants to be recognised for their hard work.”

For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.

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