Go with the Flo

Community connection is making an impact to assist people with disability to find work in Far North Queensland

For Florensia Walker (Flo), the beauty of working in Tropical North Queensland is complimented by the satisfaction she finds daily with Jobfind when she is able to connect a person with disability with a job they want.

A Cairns local for the last 8 years, Flo covers Jobfind’s largest ESA area – travelling as far north as Port Douglas and Mossman, out west to the Tablelands and then south to Cardwell. Flo loves working in this region and comes to Jobfind having worked previously in jobactive and Disability Employment Services (DES).

“We provide a wrap-around service – this is not just about the numbers. Working one-to-one with each client we help them understand their eligibility for support and then progress them through our jobfinding journey. This includes how their abilities match job opportunities, assisting with resumes and job interview preparation, and then working with the employer to identify challenges or issues that may arise from either a reduced capacity to work or how we may need to modify the working arrangement.” Flo said.

Being a part of the local community helps Flo to connect to services that provide introductions to job seekers looking for support. She is connected to many community groups that range from government, to allied health and other social support services. This is about a community working together to help one of their own – the job seeker.

“DES supports people across all age groups who may have a disability, injury or illness and find it difficult to find a job. I have clients who are homeless or transient, some have come in from remote communities and have health issues that have impeded them from finding work. Some present with mental health issues and are unsure about what support services they can access and if they can fit in the workforce with their challenging circumstances.” Flo explained

I also work with job seekers who may have been affected through drug and alcohol use. Getting a job can be a defining moment for someone who is fighting or recovering from an addiction, and a positive step in their recovery. It’s about giving them confidence to have a go and working with the employer to provide the support they need.”

Because of Cairns’ location, job opportunities are varied and can be seasonal with the wet season about to start soon. A challenge for Flo is that some job seekers don’t have a driver’s license and public transport is limited in some regions. She has to actively work to identify employment opportunities for job seekers in their local area.

“We work on both sides of the employment service. We provide long term support to the job seeker but also work with employers to find the best fit for their organisation. It is about making it work best for both.”

This approach and Flo’s friendly and open engagement with locals is working. Local community groups are saying “let’s hook you up with Flo” as they know she will give them the support they need.

“One of my clients recently said to me that no one had actually taken the time to sit down and talk to him. I looked at him and said we are a people organisation. Connecting and talking to people just like you – that’s what we do.”

5 Things About Flo

What is the point of difference that you feel makes Jobfind different to other service providers? Personalised service – there is no timer on our service.

Your top tip for job seekers? Show them your character! An employer will be willing to give you a try if you have a great character – attitude and work ethic is everything.

Favourite local restaurant or cafe? Love the Hummingbird in Cairns – great place to go and meet clients. Jacks Coffee is also awesome in the Tablelands.

Favourite Place to Visit? I love Port Douglas – a great place to chill out.

Favourite thing to do in Cairns? Visiting the Great Barrier Reef – it is one of the natural wonders of the world and truly spectacular and so lucky it is part of my backyard.

— If you are a job seeker or employer in Far North Queensland and wish to connect with Flo, please complete your details here or call on 1800 931 976–

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