FOR Indigenous jobseeker Rhonda Ford, finding employment that also allows her to give back to the community has not been an easy path.
A limited education and medical conditions made it difficult for her to find a sustainable job.
But through hard work and determination, and support along the way, Rhonda is now in a role where she can help others doing it tough in Rockingham.
Not-for-profit employment services organisation Workskil Australia helped Rhonda secure a job with WA-based Ruah Community Services in a role where she is now delivering support in a primary health care context to people with mental health conditions.
“Working in this role has brought me financial freedom and built my self-esteem,” Rhonda said.
“Since I have been working in mental health I’ve realised how well off I am.
“There are so many people in a bad place, often homeless and suffering mental health issues.
“I am also fortunate in working within a really good team.”
Rhonda is among the first cohort of jobseekers Workskil Australia has helped find work since it opened the doors to its 14 new offices in WA on March 26 after being awarded a series of JobActive contracts.
In less than two months, Workskil Australia has already teamed up with employers across industry sectors to provide employment for more than 400 jobseekers spanning a range of backgrounds.
“Workforce diversity is proving to be a key driver in the employment strategies of businesses and organisations across WA,” Workskil Australia’s WA state manager Hugh Reilly said.
“Our Indigenous work program, in particular, is facing strong demand from local employers across our sites in WA. More than 30 of the jobseekers we’ve assisted in finding employment are Indigenous, often having previously experienced significant difficulty in entering the workforce.
“As in the case with Rhonda, Indigenous jobseekers provide real value to their employers by undertaking a whole range of roles across industry sectors.”
Through hard work and determination, Rhonda took bridging classes at university and then completed a Cert IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice and, with support from the Workskil Australia team, she gained employment with Ruah Community Services.
Workskil Australia is also providing an Indigenous mentor to assist Rhonda as she settles into her new role.
“Rhonda came to us with a clear goal of giving back to the community and helping others,” Mr Reilly said.
“It hasn’t been plain sailing for Rhonda in the past but testament to her determination and drive she’s now landed a great job with a strong community service focus.”