Anger Madut spent much of her first two years in Australia feeling desperately alone.
After fleeing violence in her homeland of South Sudan, she eventually made a new home in Bendigo with her husband and children.
But while her family was safe here, she was not prepared for the isolation she experienced.
"I felt I had no friends, and nowhere to go. I just stayed inside my house. I was very lonely," she said.
That has all changed since she discovered SisterWorks, a group that brings women together to learn new skills, practise their English and socialise with other participants and volunteers.
"Here I can gain some knowledge and I have also made some very good friends," Ms Madut said.
The group of nine women meets in Bendigo every Tuesday, where they can bring their children, share a meal and produce items which can then be sold in the SisterWorks network of retail outlets.
The women in the group, who are from Afghanistan and Sudan, began making beeswax wraps when the group started six months ago.
Project co-ordinator Leah Sigley said the women have since moved on to making re-useable produce bags, giving participants the added skills of learning to use sewing machines.
Participants are assisted by volunteer sewing and crafts teachers from the community.
SisterWorks also welcomes volunteers to help in other ways.
For some, that's as simple as being part of the group to help participants socialise and improve their English.
Bendigo is the first regional area to establish a chapter of the Melbourne based group, which was started by Luz Restrepo, who herself experienced isolation as a newly arrived refugee from Colombia.
At the age of 45, the doctor and communications expert, arrived in Australia seeking political asylum.
She spoke no English at the time and described her life as "being in tatters", saying she "felt like a nobody - frightened, isolated and disempowered".
Ms Restrepo soon discovered she was not alone.
In 2011, along with a group of 25 women experiencing similar challenges, she began to make and sell crafts around Melbourne.
SisterWork's mission is to support women who are refugees, asylum seekers, or migrants to improve their confidence, mental wellbeing, and sense of belonging through work and entrepreneurship.
If you would like to consider volunteering, send an email to email@example.com
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.