Release type: Media Release


Minister visits Cairns-based social enterprise redevelopment project

Minister for Employment Participation Kate Ellis today saw first-hand how Social Enterprise Development and Investment Funds (SEDIF) funding is helping a Cairns-based social enterprise.

Three Sista’s was last week announced as the first organisation to receive a loan through SEDIF, delivered by fund manager Social Enterprise Finance Australia (SEFA).

The $450,000 loan will be used to refurbish a former tourist resort into self-contained units.

Three Sista’s is partnering with the Apunipima Cape York Health Council to provide affordable accommodation and transport for clients who travel from the Cape York region to access health care services in Cairns. It will also provide crisis accommodation for people in the Cairns area experiencing homelessness.

"It’s fantastic to see the important work that Three Sista’s is doing in transforming these units into integrated accommodation for socially disadvantaged and Indigenous Australians,” Ms Ellis said.

"I know there are already people using this accommodation. I’m also pleased that through a partnership with Team Wild, this project is giving local young people training and work experience opportunities.

"This partnership shows how social enterprises can work together to maximise impact in local communities.

"Congratulations to Three Sista’s and SEFA for their efforts to work together to develop the finance and support needed for this valuable project for Cairns,” Ms Ellis said.

Announced in 2011, the $20 million SEFA loan fund was established with $10 million in Australian Government funding, fully matched by private investors, under the SEDIF program. 

For more information go to

Minister Ellis’ media contact: Tim Pigot 0419 817 098

DEEWR Media:   Non-media enquiries: 1300 363 079