AAC has been trialing Pathways to Real Jobs for jobseekers across the Pilbara. We’ve been working on a project in Paraburdoo to donate and distribute pre-loved clothing to people within our surrounding community. We have 4 jobseekers working on this work-experience project as a pathway to a real job, which is slowly coming to an end.
For those who might not be aware, AAC had an op-shop in Tom Price that closed down a few years ago to create room for the Containers for Change project. Despite donating clothing to new op-shops run by Nintirri in Tom Price and Karingal Neighbourhood Centre in Paraburdoo, we still had heaps of boxes of items stacked neatly away in our Paraburdoo office.
The team of 4 Retail Assistants has been working hard to wash, dry, steam and display the clothing for various open days held in Paraburdoo and Wakathuni.
We’d like to introduce you to one of our Retail Assistant staff members in Paraburdoo. Jaima is in her mid-twenties and has been a jobseeker with Ashburton Aboriginal Corporation (AAC) for approximately 24 months. She is passionate and enthusiastic to find employment however, like many of our jobseekers is impacted by numerous barriers and in this instance, health and confidence.
Through our Community Projects trial [TPRJ], AAC has encouraged Jaima to step-up into a Team Leader role. Initially apprehensive, Jaima has now taken to the role as Team Leader like fish to water. Jaima is a proud, resilient and well-educated woman.
Jaima, along with the other participants in the Paraburdoo project, have embarked on brushing up on older skills and learning new skills along the way. They have also discovered the comradery that is achieved by employment and team work. Through this confidence-building process, Jaima has also built an interest in health and wellbeing of self and others in her community
AAC have incorporated non-vocational workshops into our program, as well as accredited training like First Aid. In May and July, we, along with a team a team from ICDC [Integrated Chronic Disease Care Program] hosted multiple workshops in healthy eating, healthy cooking, diabetes prevention and management, and group exercise.
Jaima, focussed on being healthy, attended each one of these workshops and gained an appreciation for the importance of regular exercise along with engaging in healthier eating habits.
Armed with the knowledge, commitment and willingness to change behaviours, Jaima has recently joined the local gym. She is also a regular at the cardio-walking group in town, started by an AAC employee. She is determined to live life to its fullest and be a fit-tabulous ambassador to people around her.
Through small steps transformation is possible, aided by a supportive network of friends. In Jaima’s words: “DOUBT IS NOT AN OPTION and where I have become the agent-for-change, is by inspiring those around me”. However, true enlightenment also comes when one recognises and believes change is all encompassing and not only physical, but also psychological revolution.
Lessons learnt and change is sustainable when harmony is achieved and where two worlds can walk as one. Similarly, vocational and non-vocational activities are equally important activities when building individual capacity and capability.