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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Worker-Owned Social Care Cooperatives in Australia

Robyn Kaczmarek (Founder and Managing Director, The Co-operative Life), tells her story about how Australia’s first worker-owned cooperative delivers quality social care services and offers care workers a better deal. Robyn Kaczmarek is the founder and managing director of The Co-operative Life, Australia’s first worker-owned cooperative in social care services. The cooperative began operating in 2013 with a single employee but has grown to around 75 staff members. Before entering the social care services sector, Robyn studied naturopathy, Chinese medicine and acupuncture (UTS) and ran a clinic in Mosman. She later completed a diploma in the coordination of care services. In setting up and continuing her passionate commitment to The Co-operative Life, Robyn strives to break the vicious cycle of poor work conditions for support workers and deliver improved quality of care services to the vulnerable.

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