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Leah's Journey

A Story of Resilience and Support

Meet Leah, a resident of Redcliffe who has been on an inspiring journey of personal growth and career development. Her story is a testament to the power of resilience, the importance of support, and the transformative impact of having a goal and pursuing it relentlessly.

The Beginning

Leah’s journey began when she was working as a support worker, a role that was challenging both physically and mentally. After two years, she left, seeking a change and a more supportive environment. This decision led her to TURSA, a job service provider that offered her the support she felt was lacking in her previous role.

The Turning Point

At TURSA, Leah found more than just a job service provider. She found a partner in Peter, a DEA at TURSA, who became a pillar of support for her. Peter’s assistance ranged from moral support to helping Leah with her resume, making it stand out and opening doors to new opportunities. Leah credits Peter as being the most helpful job service provider she’s ever had, a sentiment that speaks volumes about the level of support and assistance TURSA provides.

The Transformation

With TURSA’s support, Leah’s life began to transform. She moved to Redcliffe, found a new job as a personal care worker at a nursing home, and even bought herself a car. TURSA also provided financial assistance, helping Leah with uniforms, transport, and other work-related expenses.

Leah’s journey didn’t stop there. She continued to seek better opportunities, leading her to a permanent part-time Activities Officer role at Seabrook Aged Care in Deception Bay. This role, which Leah describes as her dream job, allows her to design and practice activities with her clients at the facility, a task she thoroughly enjoys.

The Future

Today, Leah is not just surviving; she’s thriving. She’s enrolled in a Cert IV in Leisure and Health course, which directly relates to her work duties and helps her upskill. She’s maintaining solid work hours and is progressing well through her coursework.

Leah’s story powerfully reminds us that transformation is possible with the proper support and a willingness to strive for your goals. Her journey is a testament to the genuine assistance available at TURSA.

Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Autism

Introduction

Autism is a spectrum disorder that affects individuals differently, often enhancing specific skills and abilities. April, recognised as Autism Awareness Month, is an opportune time to discuss the unique skill sets of individuals with autism and the benefits they bring to the workplace.  To gain a deeper understanding of Autism and available supports click here

Unique Skill Sets

People with autism often possess unique skills that can be highly beneficial in various job roles. These may include:

  • Attention to Detail: Many individuals with autism excel in tasks requiring precision and meticulousness.
  • Strong Memory: They often have an exceptional ability to recall facts and details.
  • Systematic Thinking: Their ability to understand systems and patterns can be advantageous in fields like IT and data analysis.

Benefits of Employing Individuals with Autism

Employing individuals with autism is not just about providing opportunities; it also brings tangible benefits to businesses:

  • Diversity and Inclusion: It fosters a diverse and inclusive work environment.
  • Unique Perspectives: It brings unique perspectives that can lead to innovative solutions.
  • Reliability: Individuals with autism are often highly reliable and punctual.

Support for Individuals with Autism

Various supports are available to assist individuals with autism in the workplace:

  • Job Coaches: They provide one-on-one training and support in the workplace.
  • Supported Employment Programs: These programs offer assistance with job searches and interviews.
  • Workplace Adjustments: Employers can adjust the work environment to help autistic individuals achieve their potential.

TURSA: Championing Employment for Individuals with Autism

TURSA, as a Job Services Provider, successfully supports employment for people living with autism. TURSA understands the unique challenges and strengths of individuals with autism and works closely with them to find suitable employment opportunities. TURSA also works closely with other community organisations, employers, and participants to ensure they have the tools, support, and modifications needed to achieve their goals.

Hiring Autistic Individuals: A Guide for Employers

So, you’ve read a little about the facts and benefits of hiring autistic people. Let’s delve into the practical steps to make this process successful. Whether your candidates are neurodiverse or not, setting them up for success is crucial.

Key Considerations

When hiring autistic or neurodiverse candidates, keep the following points in mind:

  1. Rethink the Interview Process: There may be better approaches than traditional interviews. Instead, focus on observing and assessing candidates based on their abilities within your organization or team. Look beyond scripted answers and consider their practical skills and potential contributions.
  2. Holistic People Processes: Consider the entire employee lifecycle, from hiring to onboarding. Ensure that your processes are inclusive and supportive. This includes adapting your career progression paths to accommodate diverse talents and strengths.
  3. Cultivate an Inclusive Culture:
    • Respect Differences: Embrace diversity by acknowledging and respecting individual differences. Autistic individuals bring unique perspectives and skills to the table.
    • Mentorship: Provide mentorship programs to support neurodivergent thinkers. Mentorship goes beyond career planning—it helps navigate workplace nuances and fosters a sense of belonging.  Speak with your Job Service Provide for more information.
    • Beyond Acceptance: Aim for more than mere acceptance. Create an environment where everyone feels they truly belong.

By implementing these strategies, you can contribute to a more inclusive workforce and provide equal opportunities for autistic individuals. Let’s work together to create a workplace where everyone thrives! 

Remember, every workplace can make a difference by adopting these changes, many of which are low-cost or cost-free1. Let’s empower autistic individuals and celebrate their unique abilities! 

Employing individuals with autism is a win-win situation. It provides opportunities for a marginalised group while bringing unique skills and perspectives to the workplace. With the proper support and understanding, individuals living with autism can thrive in the workplace.

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.

Collaboration

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

 Zeona’s Journey: Rediscovering Confidence and thriving with the support of TURSA.

 In Grafton, we had the opportunity to sit down with Zeona, a remarkable mother of five boys ranging from 9 to 25 years old. Zeona, who had spent years as a stay-at-home mother, needed to rediscover her confidence and direction. With determination and the support of Jeff (Employment Advisor) and TURSA (Training & Employment Job Services Provider), her story developed.

First Step – Study

Before embarking on her journey of self-discovery, Zeona admits to feeling lost and unsure of her aspirations. But determined to make a change, she pushed herself to enrol in a TAFE course on community services. Little did she know that this decision would catalyse her transformation.

Zeona Landed a Job

Zeona’s remarkable journey began when she applied for a job before connecting with Jeff and TURSA. Despite her initial doubts about her qualifications, she secured a potential job and sought guidance from Jeff and support from TURSA. The impact was transformative, reigniting her confidence and igniting a newfound excitement for the future.

Jeff offered Zoena guidance and practical support where it was most needed.  This all played a pivotal role in Zeona’s journey of rediscovering her confidence. Jeff identified where TURSA could practically assist. For example, when Zeona needed clothing and shoes for an interview, TURSA ensured she had the necessary resources.

Zeona and Jeff fist pumping in front of a TURSA sign about Zeona rediscovering confidence.

Zeona, with unwavering determination, recalls her experience with TURSA and Jeff as a significant turning point. Their support and belief in her allowed her to secure employment within a month of joining forces. Today, Zeona proudly works as a domestic care worker at Australian Unity.

Zeona’s success doesn’t end there. She is now eagerly training to become a support worker, expanding her skill set to include tasks such as showers and more. With the support and encouragement, she has received, Zeona believes she can step into this new role by the end of the year.

Reflection:

Reflecting on her journey, Zeona expressed gratitude for the support she received from Jeff and TURSA. Zeona felt rediscovering her confidence and career trajectory would not have been possible without their guidance and belief in her potential.

Zeona’s confidence grows with each passing day, proving that anyone can overcome self-doubt and achieve their dreams with the proper support and opportunities. Her inspiring journey is a testament to the transformative power of having someone support and believe in you. A team that is dedicated to empowering individuals and helping them realise their full potential.

As Zeona forges ahead, she is a shining example of resilience and determination, inspiring others to never give up on their goals.

Wanting to take that step but, need a little support to achieve your goals – We are here to assist you!
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