AWARE Community (Comm.) is a grassroots community organization founded by Michelle ( Malikeh) Michels is 2016 in the end of 2015/2016. Ms. Michels managed a projects for community education and settlement in Western Sydney. The projects include managing a settlement agency in the Auburn (NSW) Community Centre for newly arrived refugees. The service was funded by the Department of Social Services (DSS) from 2012 to end of 2015. It was a major projects servicing a few hundred clients a year. This project encompassed assisting clients with their everyday living needs, education about living in their new country and providing guidance and assistance. Workshops, classes and regular training was organised by Ms. Michels including for local community organisations and government agencies (see Auburn Police Cross cultural training session photo below)
The next project, teaching new arrivals and migrants about the environment and sustainability in the ‘Our Place’ program with her Orgnaistaion in partnerships with the Office of Environment and Heritage NSW (OEH) and NSW Service for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS). This project was also ran in conjunction with Sydney University and other community partners. It was very succesful in educating and raising awareness about waste recycling, upcycling and re-use, ecology, environmental and sustainability topics.
Ms. Michels has worked with the community in Western Sydney for over 20 years before moving to the Northern Rivers with her family in early 2017. Ms. Michels is a lawyer and environmental educator and has extensive experience in working with refugee communities in settlement and community awareness. has a B Media LLB (Laws) and a Masters in Science (Environmental Science). She was a local government politician on the Auburn Council from April 2004 till September 2012.