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Sisters doing it for themselves

Pamela Mujica is a jewellery designer and entrepreneur. She’s also a member of SisterWorks, a not-for-profit social enterprise that’s teamed up with UN Women to help empower marginalised women in Melbourne, Australia.

SisterWorks supports women who are refugees, asylum seekers and migrants to become economically empowered. They’re part of a global program called Second Chance Education which is a partnership between UN Women and BHP Foundation. The program helps women reimagine their future through education and vocational learning.

Pamela was born in Chile and first moved to Australia in 1996. After the birth of her third child, Pamela found herself isolated with a baby at home, her other children at school and her husband at work.

‘One day, through another sister, I went to this great place called SisterWorks,’ says Pamela.

‘I felt integrated and so relieved that I was not alone. Other women were selling their products, so I started to make my own jewellery which was liked by many customers so we began selling it at our SisterWorks markets.’

What first attracted Pamela to SisterWorks was the secure, supportive environment.

‘We talked the same language as we are all women and most of us are mums.’

She’s now part of the SisterWorks team, organising markets and in charge of the SisterWorks online shop.

That’s given Pamela experience in managing teams, selling and allowed her to gain invaluable computer and communication skills.  In 2015, she started her own business, PAMdesigned, and now has big ambitions for the future. 

‘Sisterworks is the place where it all started,’ says Pamela.  ‘Next, I want to increase sales opportunities in Melbourne and across Australia.

‘I see the PAMdesigned brand in magazine and in big stores.’

Learn more about BHP Foundation’s partnership with UN Women here.