Indigenous Success Stories
Rosie joined Jobfind Centres Australia on 1 July 2010 as part of the Community Development Employment Project (CDEP) in Pormpuraaw, a remote Indigenous community on the west coast of the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland. The CDEP program, funded by the Australian Government, helps to strengthen communities such as Pormpuraaw through community development activities that help participants to develop work skills. As a member of the CDEP office cleaning team, Rosie stood out as an employee who showed great commitment and integrity, attending regularly and showing pride in her work.
When Jobfind’s Budda-Jitja Indigenous work and life skills online training program became available in Pormpuraaw, Rosie promptly registered for it and expressed much enjoyment in working through the program and, in general, using a computer. Rosie continued her training by completing a Certificate II in Asset Maintenance, while continuing with the cleaning team - which had expanded to include local business centres, council offices, the town’s public facilities and the airport.
After her successful completion of another training course, the Soundway Reading, Writing and Spelling English Program, Rosie expressed an interest in learning even more about computers. She enrolled and successfully completed ‘Your Future Pathways’ – a back-to-work course covering Information Technology and business skills.
With these skills under her belt, Rosie successfully obtained the position of Coordinator of the Indigenous Knowledge Centre (IKC) Library in September, 2010. The Centre has a library of books for adults and children, along with a variety of monthly magazine subscriptions. Rosie organises activities for the children and conducts Story Time for them as well as other activities during the school holidays.
Since starting at the IKC, Rosie has met with trainers from The State Library to learn more about managing the library, including how to use a computerised system to check books in and out rather than having to do this manually.
Rosie speaks and understands 12 Indigenous languages and is very excited about managing the IKC. She wants to contribute to her community and sees the IKC as a way of doing this through the books and resources available, along with being able to teach people how to use the computers, including how to search for jobs.
In November 2010, Ewan walked through the door at Jobfind Centre in Hope Vale, an Indigenous community on the east coast of the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland. Armed with time on his hands and a positive attitude, Ewan enthusiastically told the staff he wanted to work.
After his Jobfind consultant, Susan, outlined a number of interesting activities, training benefits and possible job opportunities that could come from registering with Jobfind’s Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP), Ewan immediately signed up to take part.
“I was feeling very positive and started working at the CDEP market garden straight away until I had a chance to apply for any other jobs that might come up”, said Ewan. “Susan did my induction right away, but suggested that I start the following week. Since it was a Thursday and there was still most of the day left, I asked if I could start that day. And so I did and I really got into it.”
Just two weeks after starting at the market garden, Susan approached Ewan with an opportunity to apply for full time employment with LDI Construction in Hope Vale. Ewan immediately applied for the role and was successful – starting the very next day.
“With the support and encouragement I have received from Jobfind Hope Vale, I know I can achieve whatever I put my mind to. By doing the right thing and turning up on time, putting in a good day’s work and being a role model to other guys in the community, I have grown and am very proud of myself. My family has also seen the benefits - I get paid and that helps with things like food and bills” said Ewan.
“I recommend everyone to get involved in CDEP if they have the opportunity to. Take the chance with both hands and make the most of it like I did. It paid off for me!”
Patricia registered with Jobfind Centre Palmerston, a suburb of Darwin in the Northern Territory, after having to end her previous work as a gardener due to a number of health issues. As a mother with young children, she also expressed the need to find a job that would fit around school hours.
After working with her Jobfind consultant, Patricia was interviewed and successfully gained the position of Door Greeter with the local Coles supermarket in August 2010.
“I work on the door of the supermarket and often other Indigenous people I know stop and ask me how I got this job”, said Patricia. “I am the only Indigenous staff member who works for the company here and I am so proud of it.”
With the drive and confidence gained during her time working at Coles, Patricia decided in March of this year that it was time to take her career to the next level and enrolled in full-time study for a Certificate I in Information Technology at Charles Darwin University.
Patricia is currently completing the course to help her successfully enter a 20 week Administration/Payroll traineeship with the Northern Territory Government. The program, consisting of 25 participants, will be run through the Department of Education & Training in June and will lead to full-time employment for her in this field upon successful completion.
Cecil came to Jobfind Centre in Port Macquarie as a 40 year old Indigenous man with a rather rough appearance and severe language, literacy and numeracy difficulties that manifested in slurred speech and poor communication skills.
Cecil had been working for a furniture removal company, but was let go because the employer said that homeowners objected to his appearance and communication skills. It also didn’t help matters that he found it difficult to read a road map. As a result, Cecil was suffering from low self-esteem, a lack of skills and also felt that he couldn’t talk to employers on the phone.
Jobfind started by placing Cecil into the Budda-Jitja Indigenous work and life skills online training program and his consultant, James, immediately saw a change in his attitude and confidence. Through communicating with various staff in the Centre, along with mentoring and encouragement, Cecil found the confidence to start approaching potential employers.
With coaching from his Consultant, Cecil was put forward for a job with a local Food Processing business and was offered the job. Since starting the job in October 2010, Cecil has started a traineeship in food processing, which is an achievement in itself, given the language, literacy and numeracy barrier involved.
Over 6 months on, Cecil is still enjoying working on a full time basis.
Damien was 18 and unreliable. He consistently missed appointments and would turn up to his local Jobfind Centre wearing thongs and board shorts – even in the middle of winter!
He was a little distant with his Jobfind Consultant but she continued to work closely with him as she understood his unwillingness to engage came from feeling lost after he dropped out of school. The Consultant made it clear that she would support him whatever he wished to do – whether it be going back to school, joining a youth training project or finding a job.
During discussions, Damien told his Consultant that he quite liked working on cars. With this in mind, his Consultant found a job vacancy at a local Ford dealership. Damien’s Consultant proceeded to coach him and accompanied him to his interview.
For the interview, Damien dressed smartly in black pants and a shirt, and arrived 20 minutes early. The other candidate waiting to be interviewed was dressed in tracksuit pants and a hooded sweatshirt –Damien’s appearance had already made a positive impression.
At the end of the interview, the employer told Damien, “I like you, when can you start?”, to which Damien proudly replied “I can start tomorrow – no worries!”
Damien is very happy in his new job and has a new found confidence which has inspired his family and community. He now also has the cash to buy himself his very own Ford!
When Nadya registered with Jobfind she had no idea about what she wanted to do. She had personal and medical issues and constantly missed appointments. A major issue she had was a skin disorder which left her embarrassed to be out in public. Her attentive Consultant soon gained her a referral to a skin specialist. After taking the specialists advice her skin changed dramatically for the better – as did her confidence!
This new-found self-assurance led to a burst of motivation to find meaningful work. One day her Consultant saw her design portfolio and encouraged Nadya to start her own design business. A few months later Nadya commenced a NEIS (New Enterprise Incentive Scheme) program where she will soon complete a Certificate IV in Small Business Management.
Nadya is now looking forward to opening her own graphic design business with financial assistance and support from NEIS. With Jobfind’s encouragement to help her identify her skills and passion, Nadya now has a bright future ahead of her.