Following on from the success of the popular Mirrabooka Community Markets, MercyCare is set to provide budding refugee stallholders with the opportunity to hire a roving market stall to use at various markets across Perth.
Aptly named the Wandering Feast, the project will be funded by MercyCare’s CEO Innovation Fund initiative, which encourages staff to come up with creative ideas that champion the organisation’s values and supports the services and programs delivered across the community.
MercyCare Manager of Multicultural Support Services Samira Husic says the roving stall will provide additional opportunities for refugees to generate some income, while also providing the general community with a multicultural market experience.
She says the idea behind Wandering Feast was inspired by the recent Mirrabooka Community Market series, which received a high demand for stalls.
“They may only get one to two chances to sell their wares at the Mirrabooka Markets,” Samira says.
“We manage the high demand by rotating in new stallholders each market and through stall-sharing to fit more vendors in.”
The mobile market set up means stallholders can easily transport their stall to other locations around Perth.
“We believe the story of refugees making a new life, and the offering of delicious and unique cultural foods and wares offers a point of difference,” Samira says.
“Currently, the markets rely on grants because of the considerable costs involved with workshops, mentoring refugees with their business skills, and the fact that we significantly subsidise the stall price for stallholders.
“With the Wandering Feast, we will pare back the costs of putting on a market to ensure it can run as lean as possible including the use of volunteers.”
Much like the Mirrabooka Community Markets, Samira says the project is designed to help provide refugees and asylum seekers with opportunities to continue to showcase unique skills from their home countries while also earning their own money.
“We want to make connections with grassroots people, many who are refugees and asylum seekers, and provide them with the opportunity to earn their own money,” Samira says.
“Often, they have very little understanding what it entails to invest in a stall, and often they may not have a vehicle that can transport the stall set up, so this trailer gives them the opportunity to do that and also set up the marquee themselves.
“So in a way, this is like a stepping stone to their own pathways and can help them to achieve their own goals.”
MercyCare's Multicultural Services team have secured a trailer for the project and aim to have it ready in time for the spring market season.