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Justine Celebrates Her 10 Year Milestone

Justine Radnedge celebrates her milestone of 10 years employment with TURSA. Justine is the Disability Employment Services Co-ordinator for Gold Coast and Logan ESA Regions.

We sat down with Justine and asked her about her journey working with TURSA and what she loves about her job!

What do you love about your job?
The ability to help people see their own potential.

What do you love about your clients?
Working within disability employment services I have developed admiration for those with optimism and a commitment to be a positive part of their community.

Do you have any people you look up to?
There are ample people in the TURSA Management team that inspire me every day to work harder, develop knowledge and grow as a person through work experiences. Outside of work people who are resilient and those that give back.

What’s a work achievement you are really proud of?
Knowing over the years I have been a small part of many peoples success.

What motivates you at work?
Encouraging participants to chase their dreams, big or small and knowing work can be a happy and rewarding experience if you’re in the right workplace.

What led you to this career?
Chance, completing a degree in psychology and business, I have always enjoyed learning more about organisational psychology and workplace wellbeing.

What’s the biggest misconception people have about your position?
As providers, we just get people jobs. We do so much more than that.

What are the values that drive you?
Being compassionate, adaptable, humble and the ability to acknowledge mistakes are an opportunity to learn.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
Always listen more than you speak.

What energises you outside of work?
The Coast’s idyllic lifestyle and a good laugh.


Join Our Team

Do you want to be like Justine and enjoy what you do and who you work for? Come work for us. Our available jobs can be found here.

Bilise Wirtu is a refugee from Ethiopia who has successfully gained employment through the help and guidance of her Employment Advisor Niyanta Patel. Bilise has been linked with TURSA Greenslopes since April 2020 where she has been supported to get job ready. Niyanta assisted Bilise with English lessons to help her communication skills. Bilise gained confidence through these lessons and enrolled into a Certificate III in Individual Support.

While completing the certificate course, Bilise attended regular appointments with Niyanta, where she developed a cover letter and resume. Bilise was taught how to apply for jobs, cold call on businesses and build her interview skills. Over the course of these regular appointments, Bilise grew in confidence and was motivated to successfully complete her Certificate III in Individual Support.Another barrier to employment that Bilise needed assistance with was transport. Niyanta booked Bilise in for some driving lessons and helped her gain her licence.

Due to all the assistance from TURSA Greenslopes and Niyanta, Bilise has successfully gained employment at a local Aged Care Facility.

“I’m so happy to be working and I have achieved my goal!” – Bilise said.

Want to find out how we can assist you into employment. Contact our team today here.

Our regions have been impacted extensively from the 2022 floods. We have compiled a list of useful funding resources to assist you.


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Small Business & Not-For-Profit

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Volunteering has great benefits to volunteers, nonprofits & the community as a whole.

What is volunteering?

Volunteering is spending time willingly to help someone else without being paid. It can be formal or informal.

Informal volunteering includes helping friends and family with things like babysitting, chores and

Formal volunteering usually takes place through a charity or other not-for-profit or community organisation.

We have created a list of how volunteering can help your community while also helping you and your career.


1. Volunteering is as credible as paid work.

Hiring managers consider volunteering a valuable advantage when looking at potential employees. When you have a volunteering experience to add to your resume, you stand out over job candidates who don’t take the time to give back to society. Volunteering highlights your character, passion, and determination! It shows you have the enthusiasm, energy, and willingness to offer more than the bare minimum.

2. Volunteering can be helpful in a job interview

Volunteering will offer you skills that can be used throughout your career development. It shows potential employers that you can take initiative and that you’re willing to give your own time to improve the world for other people.

3. Learn new skills

Volunteering offers the chance to learn new skills that could be applicable to future job opportunities. You can learn transferable skill from a volunteer job that can help land you your next dream job.

4. Volunteering can make you be grateful

Volunteering can give us a deeper sense of perspective. It helps you to realise how lucky you are and instil a positive attitude. Learning about cultures and ways of life that are different from one of your upbringing will increase your social flexibility and expand your world-view. It will also raise awareness of the issues that other people deal with and will increase important social skills like empathy and teamwork. All types of volunteering can benefit the community and leave you glowing at the fact you’ve done something good.

5. Grows your network

By volunteering, you will grow your network with personal and professional relationships. You never know who you will meet and how that connection can lead to career opportunities.

6. Volunteering connects you with others and can increase your social life

Volunteering helps you to meet new people! If you’re lonely, or simply want to widen your social circle, volunteering can be a great way to meet new people. It strengthens your ties to the community and exposes you to people with similar interests. The benefits of consistent socialising include better brain function and lower risk for depression and anxiety.


Interested in Volunteering?

Check out – Go Volunteer and Volunteering Australia.

Or Speak to your Employment Adviser or Disability Employment Advocate to find out more, contact them here.

We have created 9 helpful hints to help you Ace your Job Interview.
1. Be Prepared

Make sure you do your research. Find out about the company you are applying for.

  • How many years have they been operating?
  • What is the business mission
  • What services do they offer

The more you know, the more you will seem invested and interested in the company. See how the business’s principles align with yours.


2. Re-read the job advertisement

Make sure you re-read the job advertisement. Make sure you are aware of what the role is asking for and how you fit the role.


 

3. Make sure you understand the STAR method

The STAR method is a way of responding to a behavioural based interview question by describing a previous work experience: Situation, Task, Action and Result.

Situation: What was the situation?

Task: What was the task you were doing and the goal?

Action: What action did you take?

Result: What was the result of your action?

Interview 9 (1)

An example of this is:

Q. Talk me through a time when you had to communicate to a large group. Tell me how did you get your message across effectively?

A. At my previous role, I would often run staff meetings. We had over 20 employees, so I had to talk to quite a large group. The best way to deliver my message was through standing in from of the group and presenting my topic through a slideshow presentation. It worked great as it wasn’t just someone up the front talking, the presentation was engaging and kept staff interested.

 

4. Practice answering interview and STAR questions

We have written some practice interview questions to help you prepare, here.

Make sure you read over these and pick some questions to answer and write down your response. Read over your response it and see if you can elaborate your answer or add to your answer. Take your time.

This will help you when you are asked the questions in the interview because you are more prepared and don’t have silences while you are thinking up an answer. Your answers will be fresh in your mind, and you will be able to say something similar to what you had previously prepared.


5. What to wear to the Interview

Make sure you pick out your outfit the day before. You do not want to be last minute trying outfits on and then run late for your interview. We have a more detailed blog on what to wear to a job interview here.


6. Be on time

There is no excuse for being late. Be prepared. Drive to the interview location prior to the interview so you can see how long it takes you to get there and so you know where the business is. There is nothing worse than getting lost on the day of an interview, running in late and flustered. Also look at the parking options. Check whether it is easy to park or if finding parking may take time. Allocate extra time on the day for this.


7. Leave your phone in the car.

Phones are distractions. Even if your phone is on silent, the vibrations in your bag or the flashing screen can be a distraction. You want to prove the interviewer that they are your whole focus. Getting this job is important to you, and they have you undivided attention. Taking your phone into the interview and placing it on the table shows that your phone is most important and is often seen as rude.


8. Ask your own questions to the interviewer.

How long have you been with the company?

What do you love most about working here?

When will I hear back from you after this interview?

If I don’t hear back from you by _____, do you mind if I call you?


9. Follow up after the interview.

Remember to follow up after the interview. You should follow up a week after if you haven’t heard anything. This will show that you are keen on the role.


Bonus Tip:

Take a notebook

  • Have notes on background information on the company. It is perfect for you to read over while you are waiting to be called in for the interview.
  • Write dot points of how you fit with selection criteria.
  • Have the questions you want to ask prepared in your notebook.
  • Take notes in the interview, this will show you are interested and invested in the opportunity.
  • Do not write everything down, you want to still be engaging and have eye contact with the interviewer.
What to wear to a job interview

So you scored yourself an interview, Congratulations!
Now the decision of what to wear. If there was ever a time to care about what to wear – it is when you are going to a job interview.
You want to ensure that you make a great first impression, you do this by dressing appropriately for the occasion.

Clothing:
Do’s:

Wear clothing that is professional but not too over the top. Choose something neat and simple.

Top: Blouse, Button Up Shirt, Collared Shirt or Polo Shirt.
Pants: Tailored or Chinos.
Skirt: Business skirt, nothing too casual.
Dress: Business.

Ensure that your items of clothing are ironed. You don’t want to show up to your interview with a crinkled shirt. It makes you like untidy and that you don’t care how you look.

Do Not’s:

Short Skirts: If you wear a skirt, do not wear it too short. It needs to be no shorter than just above the knee.
Plunging/Low Neckline Shirts: Ensure that it a more conservative top.
Activewear: Do not wear tights for an interview. Keep them for the gym.
Jeans: Too casual for an interview.

What To Wear To A Job Interview
Interview
Hair:

Ensure that your hair is clean, brushed and styled presentable. If you have long hair ensure you have it styled in a way that you would wear it everyday, not hanging all over your face.

Makeup:

Ensure that you do not cake it on, less is better so do a light application. Ensure you keep to neutral colours. You are not going out to a nightclub this is an interview and your makeup should reflect this.

If you do not normally wear makeup, do not feel that you need to. It is best that you are comfortable.

Interview
Shoes:

The best option is for covered shoes that are clean and comfortable. Leather shoes or dress shoes.

No joggers.

Heels can be worn but make sure they are comfortable and that you can walk easy in them. You don’t want to worried about tripping over when you should be focusing on what you need to say.

Accessories and Jewellery:

Keep accessories and jewellery to a minimum.

A simple watch, necklace and small earrings. You do not want to be over accessorising with excess such as a nice watch or bracelet and a smallish pair of earrings.

A belt if required.

Where to get your interview clothes from:

Target, Big W and Kmart has great affordable clothing for you wear.

Dress for Success is a global not-for-profit organisation that helps women. They help provide free clothing to women for job interviews.

You don’t need to spend a fortune. Once you have purchased one outfit for your interview, you can wear it again for your next interviews.

Ask your Employment Adviser or Disability Employment Advocate for assistance with getting your interview clothes, contact them here.

It can be quite daunting and overwhelming looking for work.

We have created a 10 Step Guide Solve the Job Search puzzle to help ensure a seamless and positive process; including what you can do if it doesn’t all go according to plan.


1. Get support for the job search journey.

You don’t need to do this alone. Chat to your Employment Adviser or Disability Employment Advocate about how TURSA can support you to not only get a job, but also to keep it. We have been supporting people into jobs for over 25 years and are available to help you do the same.

Contact your closest TURSA site on 1800 670 914 or contact us here.


2. Know what job you want.

There are thousands of jobs out there, but that doesn’t mean you need to apply for all of them. You already have a set of skills, experiences and areas of interest to bring to your job search. Therefore, there is no point applying for just any job – it needs to serve a purpose and be something you are capable of doing.

If you are unsure, The Australian Government has a great resource job outlook where you can complete a career quiz to see what careers may suit you.

There is also a career quiz to help guide you in the right direction. Complete the career quiz here.


3. Create your resume.

Before you can really start applying for multiple jobs, you need to have the right tools in place which starts with a resume. Your resume is an overview and summary of all your skills, work experience, education and training you have done.

Ensure that it is tailored to the industry and role you are applying for.

For resume help – read our article here.


4. Type up a cover letter.

A cover letter is an overview of your resume and how it relates directly to the jobs you are applying for. Your cover letter will highlight why you are applying for the job, and how your skills, experience and education relate to the job with your key stand out points highlighted!

For guidance on how to write a stand out cover letter – read here.


5. Start your job search – Use Your Network.

There are numerous ways to find vacancies, whether it be the internet, word-of-mouth or via face-to-face.

The most effective way to get a job is through the people you already know. Your friends, family members, acquaintances are all connected to different people and businesses as well. They may know of jobs going, know someone who does, or be able to provide suggestions of their own.


6. Face to Face Job Search.

Searching for work by walking into businesses you would like to work is also effective. Take a walk around local shopping centres and CBD’s to see what may be advertised on the window. Remember to take your resume with you and dress to impress, so that you can drop your resume in straight away to any vacancies you see. While it may be more time consuming than some other methods, by applying for jobs face to face shows the employer you are keen and they get to meet you in person, than just on a piece of paper and helps you stand out in the crowd of other applications.

Alternatively, you can also directly call employers you would like to work for to introduce yourself and why you would be a suitable employee for their business.


7. Internet Job Search.

The internet job search websites allow you to apply for many jobs, in a short period of time. Join recruitment sites and start searching for roles in the follow places:

Make a profile including your resumes, availability, goals, cover letter.

This will enable you to set alerts for any new jobs that pop up in your desired field.


8. Follow up.

There is no point applying for numerous jobs if you are not going to follow up your application

Call each business that you have applied for a job to with the following spiel as a guide:.

“Hi, it’s Cindy. I recently applied for the Barista position you had advertised. I was calling to see how my application was going and to find out when you are conducting interviews”

This will show the employer you are going that extra mile and you are extra keen to gain an interview! With so many jobseekers out there, it is best to stand out!


9. Work Experience.

If you are still struggling to find a job, you should consider doing some work experience or voluntary work to gain additional experience and skills. This shows you are motivated and can help improve your applications with updated work experience and skills also.

For more information on how we can support you with gaining work experience, you can view information on the National Work Experience Programme here: National Work Experience Programme – Department of Education, Skills and Employment, Australian Government (dese.gov.au)


10. Upskilling.

Another way to improve your chances of success if you are struggling to get a job, is by increasing your skills through education and training. There are many courses available, both short and long that can help you improve your skills or qualifications that will strengthen your job applications.

Read our blog post on Upskilling here.

We are thrilled with our Transition to Work Tender Success. TURSA has been successful in our Tender application to deliver Transition to Work (TtW) 2022–27. We have been awarded a Deed for the Brisbane South East Employment Region for the three sites of Beenleigh, Capalaba and Woodridge.

The TtW program is designed to support young people aged 15 – 24 years by providing pre-employment skills, work experience placements, training, connections to employers and post-placement support.

We are already preparing for the commencement of these new contracts on July 1. We look forward to connecting with youth to plan your future through employment, training, and apprenticeships.

The new program will provide TURSA with the opportunity to create additional roles for people with skills and experience working with youth. We encourage anyone interested in these roles to submit an Expression of Interest here.

We are thrilled with our Transition to Work Tender Success and we are looking forward to the opportunity to further serve the community in Brisbane South East in addition to our current services.

To learn more about the Transition to Work program, please fill in the form below and our team will contact you.

DisTinct Changes Lives

Providing real opportunities for people living with a disability, sums up the essence of the Gold Coast Health’s DisTinct Pathways Program. This 26-week program provides people living with a disability the opportunity to work at Gold Coast Health in an area of their choice.

DisTinct began running in 2019, having been birthed from offering ad hoc opportunities to a frequently overlooked pool of talent, into more of a structured program, ensuring participants in the program are fully supported. Getting a Government job can be competitive and DisTinct offers a foot in the door and opportunities for all.

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The program which has around a 70% retention rate (to date) and has also been nominated for an AHRI Award, aims to enable a progressive and disability confident culture that maximises the potential of diversity, diverse voices and ideas. Furthermore, it is ‘person-centred’, so participants have ownership of the program giving them a chance to grow in confidence and increase their sense of worth.

DisTinct also allows teams and their team leaders to embrace an all-inclusive workplace where there are equal employment opportunities, a change in mindset and a workforce that reflects the diverseness of the Gold Coast community.

Through their Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, Gold Coast Health strive to be an employer of choice by providing equitable and fair opportunities for those living with a disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, culturally and linguistically diverse people and disadvantaged groups.

Ebru Dogan, The Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Gold Coast Health says the program is the first of its kind and other hospitals across Queensland have expressed interest in emulating the program. We asked Ebru what she would say to another hospital considering a similar program to DisTinct, Ebru said;

“For a small investment, the impact is profound. The program impacts an individual person’s livelihood and helps to increase their confidence. It also makes the workplace more inclusive, which is so important”.

Congratulations to some of our TURSA participants who have been accepted into the 6th intake of The DisTinct Pathways Program which began this week.

Here is a little more on the program shared by Gold Coast Health.

Michael had worked in the banking industry for 20 years and found himself unemployed for 12 months. He was experiencing homelessness and living out of his car due to financial hardship. He wasn’t in the right headspace to begin applying for jobs due to some personal issues.

After attending Tursa Employment & Training in Mermaid Beach, Michael was able to access the support he needed to prepare for employment and become employment ready.

We got the chance to catch up with Michael to ask him about his experience with TURSA. He said;

“I wasn’t ready for a while, but when I knew I was employment ready, it was full steam ahead. I applied for a job, got the interview and then I was offered the job”.

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Employment ready support

Michael continued to say;

“My Employment Adviser Kylianne really helped me. The support I received was amazing and nothing I asked for was ever too much”.

“One time, I couldn’t attend a course because I was rushed to hospital. Kylianne was understanding and didn’t question it. I was never doubted or pushed, instead I felt supported in so many ways. It was her belief in me that really helped me. I was always made to feel welcome, I received tough love and thanks to her and everything she did, I now have a place to stay and a new job to start”.

“I hadn’t attended a job interview for 20 years so I needed help to get my resume up to date. One time I asked for a few dollars to buy some food and was given a $100 Coles voucher. Other times I received help to buy petrol, clothes and shoes and even to pay for my car rego”.

At TURSA, we have offices available for employers to use for interviewing and so we were also able to arrange interview space at our Palm Beach office for Michael’s interview.

We asked Michael what advice he would give to others who were returning to work, he said;

“I would say listen to your Employment Adviser, observe what they do, believe and trust their advice and then, get yourself employment ready ASAP”.

We congratulate Michael who started his new job this week.

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