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Tod and Natalie from AES talking partnership with TURSA

Collaboration and Connection: AES and TURSA’s Powerful Partnership

In the heart of Coffs Harbour, two organisations are working together to make a real difference in the lives of Indigenous Australians. AES Aboriginal Employment Strategies and Tursa Employment and Training are dedicated to providing comprehensive support to individuals seeking employment and training.

A Holistic Approach

AES and TURSA offer more than employment services; they provide a holistic approach to supporting Indigenous Australians. From mentoring and job placement to referrals for mental health and housing support, these organisations are committed to addressing their clients’ various needs.

The Power of Partnership

Tom Flanders, Recruitment Officer, and Natalie Tighe, Group Training Field Officer, Are the driving forces behind AES at Coffs Harbour. Working alongside TURSA creates a powerful partnership that gets results. Together, they can provide seamless service that addresses each individual’s unique needs.

“We rely on each other to provide the best possible support to our clients,” Natalie says. “It’s a partnership that’s essential to our success.”

Empowering Indigenous Employment Through Partnership

The TURSA Steps to Work Program bridges Indigenous participants to local job opportunities by providing them with the knowledge and confidence they need to take that next step, and we’re proud to acknowledge the invaluable support of our regular partners, AES.

Through our collaboration, we’ve successfully placed numerous Indigenous individuals into meaningful employment, fostering a more inclusive and diverse workforce. As Simone from TURSA notes, “Our long-term partnership with AES has been instrumental in driving positive change. Their commitment to our shared mission has enabled us to provide comprehensive support to our participants, resulting in increased confidence, skills, and employment outcomes. Together, we’re making a real difference in the lives of Indigenous Australians, and we look forward to continuing our impactful work.” By combining our expertise and resources, we’re creating a brighter future for Indigenous job seekers and the community.

Steps to Work Coffs Harbour

Breaking Down Barriers One by One

One of the biggest challenges facing Indigenous Australians is a lack of identification and documentation. AES has identified this as a current service gap that needs to be filled to address this issue by providing support and resources to help individuals obtain the necessary identification to access employment and training opportunities.

“It’s a critical gap in the community, and we’re committed to filling it,” Natalie says.

Staff Champions

Tom and Natalie are shining examples of the dedicated staff at AES and their ongoing support of TURSA is invaluable. Their passion and commitment to supporting Indigenous Australians are evident in everything they do.

“We’re making a real difference, and that’s what it’s all about,” Natalie says.

A Brighter Future

AES and TURSA’s partnership are building a brighter future for Indigenous Australians. Working together to help Indigenous Australians have a better life. They give lots of help to meet the different needs of their clients, making our community fairer and more welcoming for everyone. This help includes support for mental health, finding a home, job training, learning new skills, providing steps to work guidance or just having someone to talk to. In the end, we all work together to make our community stronger and more connected.

“It’s a privilege to be part of this work,” Tom says. “We’re making a real difference, and that’s what it’s all about.”

As AES and TURSA continue their vital work, they are a shining example of the impact that can be made when community organisations come together with a shared vision and a commitment to supporting Indigenous Australians.

A Story of Growth, Goals, and Dancing Dreams

Stephanie’s Journey: 

Stephanie, a young woman with a passion for dance and a goal to work in the dance industry, embarked on a journey to find her work goals and build her skills. With the support of Skye from TURSA and Amelia from Better Together, Stephanie has been making significant strides towards her goals.

Stephanie, TURSA DES participant, Skye from TURSA and Amelia from Better Together talking about making a difference together

 A Supportive Network

Skye, an Employment Advocate from TURSA, identified Stephanie’s need for a more foundational approach to her career development. Recognising that Stephanie needed more than just a job placement, Skye sought a program that would provide her with the necessary skills and support. This led her to Amelia and the Better Together program.

Amelia, the project coordinator at Better Together, welcomed Stephanie into their Certificate II in Hospitality and Tourism program. Better Together, a disability support provider and community service organization, has been operating for over 15 years. Their focus is on training and upskilling individuals who might be underemployed and underskilled.

The Journey Begins

Stephanie’s journey with the Better Together program has been transformative. The program provides a dynamic learning environment where learners of all capacities can thrive. Stephanie has been diligently working on her coursework, with Skye and Amelia providing constant support.

The program also includes excursion days, where participants visit local hospitality venues. These experiences expose Stephanie to actual workplaces, giving her a taste of what her future career could look like.

Dancing Towards Her Dreams

One of Stephanie’s most notable qualities is her love for dance. She dances on the course and dreams of working in a dance studio. Despite some physical limitations, Stephanie’s passion for dance remains undeterred. Her ultimate goal is to save up enough money from her future job to fly to Canada and experience the snow with her friend.

A Mother’s Pride

Stephanie’s progress has not gone unnoticed. Her mother has seen a significant change in her attitude at home. Stephanie’s commitment to attending the program every day and staying back late to catch up on assessments has made her mother incredibly proud.

The Importance of Collaboration

Stephanie’s journey highlights the importance of providing a wrap-around service where organizations work together in the common interest of supporting their participants. Both TURSA and Better Together have demonstrated the power of collaboration in helping Stephanie move closer to her goals.

In conclusion, Stephanie’s journey is a testament to the power of supportive networks, the importance of foundational skills-building, and the transformative potential of pursuing one’s passions. As she continues to dance towards her dreams, Stephanie serves as an inspiration to all those embarking on their own journeys towards their work goals.


Disability Employment Logo Your Voice Your Choice

The Housing Hub: A Beacon of Hope and Support in the Community

Housing Hub, Collaboration and Wrap Around Services

In an exclusive interview, Karen, a representative from the Housing Hub, sheds light on the pivotal role played by the organisation alongside partners like TURSA and other community stakeholders. Where the focus on community engagement and wrap around services are providing a perfectly tailored solution to meet the varying needs of participants in need.

Hello, I’m Karen from the Housing Hub, a specialist homeless service funded by the Queensland Government’s Department of Housing. 

Karen, could you elaborate on the Housing Hub’s role within the community, particularly in collaboration with partners like TURSA? 

Certainly. The Housing Hub operates under specific program guidelines to address homelessness, both with and without accommodation. We work closely with outreach teams to identify and support individuals in our community who are experiencing homelessness. Currently, we provide accommodation for up to 160 individuals, offering them a safe and warm environment while they engage with our support services to rebuild their lives. 

How does the Housing Hub contribute to addressing the community’s needs, especially concerning employment and mental health support? 

Our approach is holistic. We understand that stable accommodation is crucial for individuals to maintain employment and engage effectively in the community. It becomes easier to sustain employment with a safe place to rest, shower, and launder clothes. Additionally, homelessness often exacerbates mental health issues, making it difficult for individuals to cope with the demands of work. Therefore, our focus is on providing emergency housing and facilitating access to mental health support services. 

Could you elaborate on the support services the Housing Hub and its partner organizations provide? 

Certainly. In addition to emergency housing, we offer various support services tailored to individual needs. This includes onsite mental health workers, alcohol and other drug support workers, and assistance with accessing legal aid and financial counselling. Collaborating with organisations like TURSA, we aim to address the multifaceted challenges individuals experiencing homelessness face. 

It sounds like the Housing Hub provides comprehensive support. How do you ensure that individuals relate to the appropriate services? 

Building relationships is critical. Our housing support workers closely engage with residents to identify their barriers and needs. We facilitate regular visits from mental health workers, legal aid representatives, and financial counsellors to ensure residents receive timely and tailored support. Moreover, our partners like TURSA are vital in providing employment assistance, further enhancing our residents’ prospects for stable housing and financial independence. 

It’s clear that the Housing Hub’s collaborative approach is significantly impacting the community. How do you measure the success of your programs? 

Success, for us, is measured by the positive trajectories of individuals we support. We witness remarkable transformations as individuals secure employment, address their mental health concerns, and transition to stable housing. Each success story is a testament to our team’s dedication and the effectiveness of our collaborative partnerships. TURSA dedicating resources to attend the HUB every week is proving invaluable as it provides an environment where trust can be built with people who have come from an environment where they trust no one. We now see our clients finding purpose and transitioning from a shallow point to feeling anticipation and hope for the future and potential employment. 

Thank you, Karen, for providing valuable insights into the work of the Housing Hub and its partners. Your efforts are making a tangible difference in the lives of those experiencing homelessness in our community. 

Thank you for the opportunity to share our story. We remain committed to serving our community and empowering individuals to rebuild their lives with dignity and resilience. 

Suzanne’s Journey: Focus, Training, Dedication and Transformation and now loving life again.

Suzanne found meaningful employment with the collaboration of Wesley Mission and TURSA

Interview with Suzanne – TURSA Participant

“Loving life”

Suzanne, it’s great to have you here today. How did TURSA support you in gaining confidence and securing a job you love?

Absolutely. When I returned from Bundaberg with my individual support in disability, I faced challenges getting into aged care. But thankfully, Kim at TURSA suggested that CHS Training offered personal support and aged care courses, so I enrolled.

That sounds like a pivotal moment. So, Suzanne, you enrolled into the course. How did that go?

Yes, I did the course about 18 months ago and finished it successfully. CHS were amazing and treated me like family.

Fantastic. Please tell us more about Kim’s support during this time.

Kim’s support was instrumental in my journey. She helped me get into training and assisted in finding job opportunities. I used to work for Daugherty, and now I’m with Wesley. Kim helped secure both those positions.

What other services or supports did Kim connect you with?

Kim helped boost my self-confidence a lot. It wasn’t just about finding jobs but about believing in myself and my abilities.

That’s wonderful to hear. Suzanne, how has your life changed since completing the course?

My job satisfaction has increased significantly. I love working in out-of-home care; it’s much more fulfilling. And thanks to Kim’s support, I feel more confident and capable in my role.

Suzanne, could you tell us about your journey with TURSA from the first time you joined?

I was with TURSA for about 6-7 months initially, and while I didn’t find work then, I continued my education. Then, I spent nine months in a nursing home, but it wasn’t the right fit for me. That’s when Kim suggested Wesley Mission, and the rest is history.

 Suzanne, how quickly did things progress once Kim suggested Wesley?

It was amazing. Kim submitted my resume, and the next day, I got a call for an interview at Wesley. It felt like everything fell into place perfectly.

That’s incredible. It’s clear that TURSA and Kim, CHS Training and Wesley Mission  have been invaluable in your journey, Suzanne. Thank you for sharing your story with us today.

CHS Training: Empowering the Community Through Collaboration to provide Training Support and Employment

Interview with Darren from CHS Training

About CHS Training

CHS Training, located next to the railway station in South Grafton, has been serving the community for close to 18 years. Initially focused on hospitality services, we’ve expanded into various areas, including RSA, RCG, Whitecard, Individual Support, construction, and traffic control training. We emphasize delivering face-to-face training that aligns with community needs and yields the best outcomes for our participants.

Collaboration with Community Organisations

Collaboration is vital in ensuring participants receive the support they need to succeed. Over the years, we’ve developed strong partnerships with organisations like TURSA. By understanding participants’ unique challenges, we can tailor our training to meet their requirements effectively. Our trainers are adept at contextualising the training to suit the individual, ensuring a personalised approach that maximises success.

A great example this is Suzanne who came to us through TURSA and is now successfully employed at Wesley Mission and loving her new role.

Impact of Collaboration

We’ve had participants who have faced significant barriers to employment, whether it’s lack of experience or other personal challenges. Through our collaboration with organisations like TURSA, we’ve provided training, ongoing support, and guidance. This holistic approach has enabled participants to gain confidence, acquire new skills, and secure employment opportunities. Seeing individuals overcome obstacles and thrive in their chosen fields is incredibly rewarding.

Our Goal

At CHS Training, we aim to empower individuals to reach their full potential. Whether through RSA certification, Whitecard training, or any other course, we strive to equip participants with the skills and confidence they need to succeed in their chosen careers. By collaborating with organisations like TURSA and companies like Wesley Mission, we can ensure that everyone receives the support they require to achieve their goals and contribute positively to the community.


Empowering Communities: The Collaboration of Wesley Mission Home Care and TURSA

Wesley Mission Supporting Disability Employment and collaboration with TURSA

Discover the remarkable collaboration between Wesley Mission – Home Care,  CHS Training and TURSA in Grafton, which has been enriching the lives of community members like Suzanne. This partnership is a testament to their shared commitment to provide holistic support and empowerment through various programs and initiatives.  Suzanne talks about her journey HERE

Wesley Mission Home Care’s Dedication

Wesley Mission Home Care is known for its dedication to enhancing the well-being of individuals in regional communities. Their collaboration with TURSA, a leading employment service provider, and CHS Training ensures that their clients receive the best possible care and support.

The Partnership

The partnership between Wesley Mission Home Care and TURSA has spanned over three years. During this time, TURSA has been instrumental in providing Wesley Mission Home Care with qualified staff and ongoing support. This collaboration has created pathways for individuals like Suzanne to thrive in their roles and make a positive impact.

The Impact

Through TURSA’s placement services and post-placement support, individuals like Suzanne receive the necessary guidance and resources to excel in their careers. From resume building to skills training, every candidate is equipped for success. The transformative impact of this collaboration is evident in Suzanne’s journey, which exemplifies the effectiveness of their collective efforts in providing opportunities for personal and professional growth.

The Commitment

The commitment of Wesley Mission Home Care and TURSA to community engagement goes beyond providing services; it’s about fostering connections and creating opportunities for all. By partnering with organizations like TURSA, they strengthen the fabric of their communities and empower individuals to reach their full potential. Together, Wesley Home Care and TURSA are not just service providers; they are catalysts for change, advocates for inclusivity, and champions of community well-being.

Get Involved

Are you inspired by the work of Wesley Mission Home Care and TURSA? Looking to make a change and secure a job – Contact TURSA today!

Hear from Darren at CHS Training about the services and support they offer as part of the wrap around services offered by providers in the region CLICK HERE

Support Coordination, NDIS and TURSA collaboration

In a recent conversation with TURSA, Belinda Robinson from JB Supports – Support Coordination emphasised the importance of communication, education, collaboration, and wrap-around service provision between support coordinators and job services providers. This collaboration is crucial to ensure the best possible outcome for participants with employment supports in their NDIS plan.

Belinda highlighted a case where a client, despite initial setbacks, remained passionate about working. Through extensive collaboration with various stakeholders, including the client, his support worker, and professionals from TURSA, they were able to understand his needs, preferences, and capabilities. This team effort led to the client feeling supported and involved in his employment journey, fueling his passion even more.

Belinda stressed that collaboration between organizations and support coordinators ensures seamless support and resource access, leading to better opportunities and experiences for everyone involved. 

Here is the Interview 

Belinda Robinson from JB Supports – Support Coordination  

Good morning, Belinda. Thank you for joining us today. After speaking with you briefly at our Caloundra opening, I realised what a fantastic outcome you had to share. Could you please share with our readers your insights on the importance of collaboration and the value someone with a disability brings to the workplace, particularly about their desire and passion to work and have a purpose? 

Belinda: Absolutely. Collaboration is paramount when supporting individuals with disabilities in the workplace. One of our recent experiences highlights this beautifully. We had a client who initially found successful work about 12 months ago, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out due to scheduling conflicts. However, his passion and eagerness to work remained strong. He was desperate for an opportunity, constantly expressing his desire to start working again. 

That’s truly inspiring. Can you elaborate on how collaboration played a role in this case? 

Of course. Our team worked closely with various stakeholders to explore new opportunities, including the client himself, his support worker, and other professionals like Shayne and Wade from TURSA. We collaborated extensively to understand his needs, preferences, and capabilities. It was a team effort, with everyone committed to finding the best solution for him. 

It sounds like a concerted effort from all parties involved. How did this collaboration help the client? 

The client felt supported every step of the way. He was involved in decision-making and had a say in his employment journey. This sense of empowerment fueled his passion even more. Moreover, having a support worker by his side gave him the necessary help while he gradually transitioned to independence. It’s a testament to the value of collaboration in creating inclusive work environments. 

Indeed, inclusivity and support go hand in hand. From your perspective, how important is it for organisations to collaborate with support coordinators like yourself? 

Collaboration between organisations and support coordinators ensures seamless support and resource access. By working together, we can use expertise and resources to maximise outcomes for individuals with disabilities. It’s about aligning goals, sharing information, and collectively addressing challenges. Ultimately, it leads to better opportunities and experiences for everyone involved. 

Thank you, Belinda, for sharing your insights on the significance of collaboration and the invaluable contributions of individuals with disabilities in the workplace. It’s been a pleasure speaking with you. 

The pleasure is mine. Thank you for the opportunity to discuss this critical topic. 

Collaboration is the key to unlocking greater opportunities for participants seeking improved job outcomes. When Support Coordinators from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and TURSA work together, they create a powerful synergy that enhances the lives of those they serve. By connecting participants to NDIS and other supportsbuilding their capacity, and brokering services aligned with their goals, these collaborative efforts pave the way for success. Let’s champion collaboration, share knowledge, and empower participants on their journey toward meaningful employment. Together, we can make a difference!

Support Coordinatioon Collaboration

Think Jobs...Trust TURSA

Collaboration Between TURSA and Strategic Partners Paves the Way for Career Success.

In pursuing personal and professional growth, individuals often encounter challenges and uncertainties. With collaboration between service providers and trainings doors open.

Victoria’s path from post-school uncertainty to a thriving career in aged care showcases the impactful collaboration between TURSA, a job service provider, and key partners like NV College and NVC Group.

NV College Doorway story is about collaboration between NVC and TURSA
Tursa Community Chronicles (2)
Victoria talks about finding her career pathway after attending steps towards work

I spent the first 12 months with TURSA looking at options and trying to find my way. It wasn't until I did their Steps Towards Work Program that I discovered my career passion.

Victoria candidly shared her initial struggles with post-school uncertainty.

However, her fortunes changed when she joined TURSA’s Steps Towards Work” program, a three-day initiative to help participants explore career paths. During this program, she was introduced to Enrico from NVC Group, who highlighted the opportunities in aged care and their Care Ready course.


The collaboration between TURSA and NV College became evident as Victoria progressed through the Care Ready course, providing her with essential skills and a taste of the industry. The collaborative effort was not just about coursework; it extended to practical experiences, such as Victoria’s time at Autumn Lodge, and as a result she gained hands-on experience feeding residents.

Discussions with Chris, Victoria’s TURSA employment advisor, shed light on the ongoing support provided to individuals like Victoria. Chris emphasised the importance of the relationship between job service providers and training organisations, praising the seamless coordination that enables participants to find direction and pursue educational opportunities.

Career Gateway Through Collaboration

The involvement of NV College in the process was crucial. The “Steps Towards Work” program served as a gateway, exposing participants to potential careers. The collaborative approach between the college and NVC Group allowed Victoria to progress from short courses to a Certificate III in Individual Support. This resulted in gaining a traineeship offer from NVC Group at Riverside Gardens.

Kylie, a passionate staff member from NVC Group, highlighted the significance of early exposure to industry realities. The college’s partnerships with industry players, including NVC Group, allowed students like Victoria to explore their interests and make informed career decisions.

Career Doors Open with Collaboration

Further insights came from discussions with Victoria’s prospective employer at Riverside Gardens. During a speed interview, the employer admired Victoria’s eagerness to learn and emphasized the comprehensive support network at Riverside Gardens.  This resulted in Victoria being offered a Traineeship in her dream career.   The collaboration extended beyond job placement, encompassing ongoing support and transportation assistance.

In conclusion, Victoria’s journey illustrates the positive outcomes that result from a well-established collaboration between job service providers, training organizations, and employers. The collective effort, from skills development to job placement and ongoing support, showcases the potential for collaboration to be a driving force in transforming lives and steering individuals towards successful careers.

NVC Group Brochure - Collaboration - TURSA and NV College

Working Together Gets Results

TURSA Partners with Employers, and local Service Provides to ensure great outcomes

Sailfish Catamaran help build dreams

Sailfish Catamarans & TURSA share this heartwarming story. Demonstrating through partnerships young people can discover their future career. Sailfish Catamaran’s dedication to apprenticeships in partner with TURSA help to transform the lives of young talent and create an environment where they can flourish.

Commitment to Empowerment

Sailfish Catamaran believe that every individual possesses untapped potential waiting to be discovered.  All in All their commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment has built a partnership with TURSA that spans many years.   

Meet Tjundamarra “TJ”:

One such inspiring individual is TJ, a proud Indigenous man with an unwavering passion for welding and boiler making. His journey with Sailfish Catamaran is a testament to the transformative power of apprenticeships.  As a result, he was happy to briefly shares his experience in the video below about his job and study at TAFE.

The Sailfish Catamaran Difference:

Take pride in crafting not just catamarans, but also dreams and opportunities. Their partnership with TURSA enables them to identify and mentor young talents like TJ through structured apprenticeships.  Above all, they’re not only building high-quality catamarans but also nurturing the next generation of skilled tradespeople.

TURSA: Bridging the Gap:

TURSA plays a pivotal role in employment collaboration, acting as a bridge between aspiring apprentices and companies like Sailfish Catamaran. Their comprehensive training programs, support, and employment opportunities empower young individuals to explore their full potential.

Transformative Apprenticeships:

Sailfish’s philosophy aligns with ours – the belief in the transformative power of supported employment and apprenticeships. By providing young people with the tools and mentorship they need to develop their skills and find a sense of purpose, TURSA is actively contributing to the growth of local workforce and communities.

TJ’s Story:

TJ’s journey with Sailfish Catamaran has been nothing short of remarkable. He’s not just welding and crafting; he’s creating dreams on the water.  He’s finding his confidence, his voice and his talent Being part of a team that values his heritage, skills, and aspirations has allowed him to flourish in his role.

Joining Forces to Create Opportunities:

The story of TJ and Sailfish Catamaran demonstrates what can be achieved when innovative companies and community-focused organisations come together. We celebrate the diversity and talent that Indigenous youth bring to the workforce and are committed to continuing our mission of empowering the next generation of skilled workers.

So, the next time you see a Sailfish Catamaran out on the water, remember that it represents more than just a boat. It’s a symbol of hope, an emblem of opportunity, and a testament to the incredible transformation that occurs when communities and companies join forces.

Stay Connected:

To stay updated on our journey of empowerment and innovation, follow us on social media, @tursajobs and keep an eye out for more inspiring stories like TJ’s. Together, we can create a brighter future for all one job at a time.

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