About

Welcome Merchant is the liaison between refugee entrepreneurs and the wider community in Australia


Our mission is to elevate the voices of refugee and asylum seeker entrepreneurs in Australia. Lack of connections and communication, as well as digital savviness often mean that many refugee-powered businesses in Australia operate in the dark and don’t receive the attention they deserve. As a social enterprise, Welcome Merchant acts as a directory, making it easy for conscious shoppers to find unique products and cultural events operated by underestimated entrepreneurs, all while making a meaningful social impact.

Marjorie Tenchavez
Founder

Marjorie is a first-generation Australian, based in Gadigal Land/Sydney. Prior to starting Welcome Merchant in 2020, Marjorie has been working in the social justice space since 2011. She never saw herself as an entrepreneur until she realised that Welcome Merchant can be so much more than just an Instagram account. Besides Welcome Merchant, she works fulltime at Metro Assist, a community organisation, and has previously worked at organisations like Amnesty International Australia and 3Bridges Community. Marjorie has completed a Master’s Degree in Human Rights & Democratisation, where her passion for migration rights became deeper. A passionate traveller, Marjorie has lived in Colombo, Milan and Istanbul. She is obsessed with her cat, all things goat-related and dance classes.

Welcome Merchant is up and running thanks to the constant support from our volunteers


Khyathi Khirbath
Facebook Engagement

Khyathi is a fierce feminist and advocates for equal rights for all. She is also a passionate digital marketer and enjoys all things creative. She is obsessed with her dog, board games and exploring the next best cafe/bar in town. She has been in Australia for over 8 years now but is still a true Indian at heart and can handle her spice and dance like there is no tomorrow. She considers herself to be fortunate to be part of the Welcome Merchant team and help empower refugees in all ways possible.

Cheyenne Bardos
Newsletter & Social Media

Cheyenne volunteers her time by creating Welcome Merchant’s e-newsletter and assisting with social media. She is a first-generation Filipino immigrant whose family moved to Wagga Wagga, NSW, when she was seven years old. Now studying Commerce/Media (PR and Advertising) at UNSW, she loves photography, writing, and creative strategy. Her latest projects include producing editorial pieces spotlighting women of colour in the creative industry. She also loves cooking and eating her way around Sydney!

Sofiah Fauzi
All-rounder

Sofiah is our multi-skilled all-rounder volunteer. Based in Melbourne/Naarm, she has been responsible for creating amazing video content for Welcome Merchant. She also donates her time to community outreach. Sofiah is an experienced ESL teacher and has also worked in marketing. Sofiah is currently open to new employment opportunities.

Rachel McCluskey
Event Management

Rachel is a highly regarded emerging leader in the cultural sector with fifteen years’ experience in audience development, visitation, events management and operations. She has led large-scale high-profile projects in various historic and culturally significant venues and organisations in Australia. Keen to leverage leadership and audience development expertise in a new environment. Rachel is committed to social justice and wants to apply her event management expertise to socially conscious events.

Jarrad McCallum
Graphic Design

Award-winning visual designer, creative thinker, inspired problem solver, type nerd, wave rider, 90’s hip hop tragic. With over 10 years of experience and a demonstrated history of working across branding, digital, UI, campaign, editorial, and strategy-driven design.

Amro Zoabe
Tech Support

Amro is a Syrian refugee, having arrived in Australia in late 2016 after spending two years as an Internally Displaced Person in Syria and three years as a refugee in Jordan. Amro has been a hardworking member of the community since arriving in Australia, volunteering and engaging with his local community to promote social issues such as the environment, empowering young adults and equality. Along with Welcome Merchant, Amro also volunteers for SCARF and runs his own clothing label, Levant 2 Australia.

Mariia Zhuchenko
Curating

Mariia is a multidisciplinary artist, curator, experienced Front of House manager and event producer. Her working methodology is dialogical and collaborative, and her practice is inspired by her Russian heritage, storytelling and placemaking. She completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts with Honours at USYD and a Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership at UNSW. Mariia currently works as Sales Associate at Sullivan+Strumpf Sydney, where she manages client relationships and overseas art fair partnerships. As Deputy Chair, she contributes extensive knowledge of the food and hospitality sectors, visitor engagement and project management.

Kandice Stern
WordPress Design

Kandice is an experienced web developer and designer who specialises in working with small businesses to create and maintain a high-quality online presence. She is passionate about harnessing the powers of the internet for social good – and leverages empathy and humour with her skills in UI/UX, SEO, and digital marketing to help small businesses thrive in a rapidly changing online market. In her spare time, Kandice can be found gardening, painting, and being micromanaged by her cat. 

Arianna Lim
Events and Communications Support

Arianna is a Melbourne-based communications professional with a passion for fair food access. She recently completed the Master of Environment at the University of Melbourne, where she focused on sustainable food systems and policy. Prior to this, she worked as an intern for Harlem Grown, a New York-based not-for-profit striving to improve nutritious food access and literacy among children. She’s originally from the Philippines and has spent much of her time in Australia working to vegetarianise Filipino cuisine. 

Jayden Hallett
Facebook Marketing

Jayden Hallett is Brisbane based Marketing and Global Studies graduate, with experience and passion for Non For Profit initiatives. Jayden has studied abroad, spending eight months in Verona, Italy, studying Global Business and recently returned from 6 months in Vancouver, Canada. Jayden has a commitment to, and a strong social justice perspective to making a difference. He will be assisting with Facebook advertising to help spread the organisation and our underlying mission. 

THANK YOU TO PREVIOUS VOLUNTEERS

Welcome Merchant would like to thank previous volunteers, Adriana Rey & Cam Gunns. Adriana was our very first volunteer & helped our founder, Marjorie, turn Welcome Merchant into a social enterprise with her business and marketing support.

Cam single-handedly built this website, despite not having much prior website design experience. His contribution to Welcome Merchant is immeasurable.

Want to volunteer with us? Get in touch!

Please email: hello@welcomemerchant.com

Frequently Asked Questions

How can we be featured on Welcome Merchant pages?

Simple! Reach us via our Contact page or email us: hello@welcomemerchant.com

Does my business have to have a social media account before it can be featured on Welcome Merchant?

No, we can still promote your business in our online directory and on our social media channels. We can also help set up your social media account for you!

How can I hire a refugee-owned business for my next event?

We can connect you to one! Please send us a message on our contact form or email us. 

Welcome Merchant in the media

Welcome Merchant is proudly supported by the following organisations