Job Coach Victoria, ranks the highest nationally in placing 14 Indigenous clients into work and education in only 14 months of commencing with atWork Australia’s Nowra office

Victoria is a Job Coach with atWork Australia’s Disability Employment Services team. She is based in atWork Australia’s Nowra office, within the Shoalhaven NSW region and began her role midway through 2020.

Victoria’s eclectic work background has covered retail, sales, hospitality, tourism, training and management roles. The roles that Victoria has accepted have been highly customer focussed and she has always strived to provide the best service to the customer. Victoria is a qualified trainer and assessor and is capable of training multiple staff in a variety of industries, from retail to hospitality.

However, after living through a personally challenging time in her life when her father became terminally ill, Victoria was inspired to become a Disability Employment Service Job Coach. Sadly Victoria’s father passed away two weeks into her new role as an atWork Australia Job Coach, however Victoria was appreciative to be able to use the skills and experience she used when caring for her father with the broader community.

Victoria received great support from her newfound colleagues atWork Australia. As Victoria joined the team during the peak of COVID-19 and the aftermath of the Shoalhaven bushfire crisis, the ability to keep working to support Victoria’s clients was vital, especially as her clients were very isolated and in need of support.

Victoria has a passion for enriching the lives of her clients through facilitating their growth and helping them succeed. She feels rewarded from watching her clients flourish, overcome their barriers, gain independence and increase their self-confidence.

Victoria has been recognised for her amazing work toward bridging the gap for Indigenous communities in her region and she will continue to work towards equal opportunities for all First Nations Peoples.

Victoria’s caseload has a high Indigenous cohort and many of Victoria’s clients are facing a range of ongoing social issues as well as living with medical conditions. In addition, Victoria’s clients face issues of incarceration, access to and attitudes towards seeking assistance for medical and mental health challenges, housing, literacy and numeracy capabilities.

To combat this, Victoria takes an individual approach for each of her clients, considering their abilities and circumstances. Victoria said that her success can be attributed the “ability to see the entire picture of her clients, not just a vocational snapshot.”

To further illustrate the great work Victoria has done for First Nations People, is the story about John. John, a 64 year old Indigenous client, was considered long-term unemployed before commencing his job as a courtesy bus driver. This was facilitated by Victoria’s support.

When Victoria first met John, his perceived barriers to finding work were his age, his caring responsibilities for his partner and his own physical medical conditions including, a right rotator cuff injury, ruptured tendons, osteoarthritis in his knee and type 1 diabetes. John primarily worked in physically demanding roles and had been a carer for an ailing friend.

John and Victoria collaborated through open discussions about the impact of his medical concerns and realistic goals for employment.  Victoria searched for suitable transport and hospitality work in the region and ensured that companies exercised inclusive workplace practices. These companies had to also acknowledge and accept that John was out of work for a significant period of time.

Victoria supported John with resume and cover letter writing, she also advocated John to employers on his behalf and negotiated wage subsidies that would assist John in obtaining suitable work clothing and an RSA certification. Through consistent fortnightly meetings, they were able to ensure that he remained fit for the role and continue to work with confidence.

John is still a courtesy bus driver working with a local company in his region and he has expressed how much he loves his time interacting with all his customers.

John’s manager and supervisors have all praised his excellent work ethic, performance and his ability to find new ways to succeed in his role. His excellent performance has seen him expand in his job and work for sister companies.

Victoria engages her clients in vocations that are in line with the local labour market and their abilities, and work that they enjoy and are interested in doing, so that they can sustain employment. She also offers employers as much support as they desire, helping them in getting the right person into the job and ensuring longevity and consistency in their employees. Victoria believes it all comes down to effective communication with all parties.

Victoria also utilises Positivum™ to support her clients. Developed in partnership with Monash University, Positivum™ is a MedHealth owned online assessment tool, which contains questions focused on beliefs and perceptions in relation to health and work, as well as expectations regarding recovery and return to work. Positivum™ also has an online, tailored self-guided health coaching program focused on challenging negative beliefs and perceptions to health and working, and improving health self-management.

Victoria remarked, “As much as you think you know, you never stop learning.”

It has been said that, Victoria truly cares about all her clients and deeply enjoys helping them succeed. Her position of Job Coach has become a significant part of who she is.

Victoria added, “Allowing people to tell you their story in a safe and supported way is key to building relationships.”

Get in touch today on 1300 080 856 , or register your interest online, and let’s connect you with one of our many passionate Job Coaches who will work tirelessly to get you the right job with the right employer.