Hi, my name is Kara Nash, and I’ve been working for Concept Bookkeeping for a while. My journey to get here was interesting, I was reminded how far I have come when recently asked to do a talk for a marketing campaign for jobseekers.
Jump Start is a campaign to promote employment opportunities for job-seekers and employment solutions for businesses in the area. A number of local businesses were present to see how they could employ someone with a disability, injury or mental health issue.
I was invited to speak as a successful jobseeker at the APM Jump Start Wagga on the 2nd of May. The aim of Jump Start is to change the lives of 8 people over the next 4 weeks through the offer of employment.
My injury has to do with my lower back and knees, I find standing for a short period of time to be painful, which was not conductive to my then chosen career of Commercial Cookery. I needed a career change that suited my physical capabilities. These factors meant that I became a jobseeker with APM, seeking an office based job. They assisted by supplying a Theropod chair, carting the chair around, clothing for interviews, and Wage Subsidies.
Ryan Sullivan, APM Disability Employment Services State Manager for NSW, gave a presentation about where APM came from and how they could help employees, employers and staff injured at work. Imformation The Wage Subsidies that The Australian Government and APM were able to provide employers as an incentive to hire disabled, injured or those with mental illnesses. As well as some surprising statistics about the number of people affected by disabilities, injuries and mental health issues. 1 in 5 people in Australia!
The main purpose of my speech was to answer a few questions that Sharni presented to me as we both stood behind the podium.“What brought you to APM?” “How did APM help you?” “How do you find your job now?”
And finally, what would you have possible employers take away from this event?”
I asked that employers consider their expectations of workers, I don’t need to be able to constantly bend down, lift heavy objects or stand for long periods. I have a fantastically expensive chair that negates any disadvantage I would have that would impact on doing my job. And I’m healthier, I believe in part, because of the satisfaction in having my job. My back was always the worst when I was frustrated or miserable.
I was not the only speaker, as an employer, Robert Peel, who had hired a number of staff through APM recalled his positive experiences with employees, admitting that his first employee was quite reserved and shy, but warmed up to everyone. That another helped him learn more about computers and the unexpected benefit of reducing casual theft at the store due to that employee.
A free bar and nibbles rounded out the night. A huge thanks went out to Sharnie for organising the entire event and inviting all the attendees.
Jump Start around Australia
Other Jump Start Events around Australia are still being run up to June. Locations include Toowoomba, Port Macquarie, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Canberra and Mackay.
For more information on Jump Start Events. Visit APM
Part One in our staff introduction series. More hopefully to follow.