Change does happen: PreEmploy graduate stories

Simon Jaeger in EAC meeting DSC02322

Simon Jaegar (second from left) as an EAC representative at a meeting with (retired) Chief Development Officer Phil Nadin (centre). Also shown L-R: Sue Purcell, James Herbetson, Fay Jackson

If we keep doing things the same way, we will find ourselves stuck in the same place. A lot of people who experience mental health issues may know that something needs to change, but we can be unsure as to how, what, or when this should be. With this in mind, the PreEmploy Institute team has been actively helping to bring about some of the key changes that participants want to happen in their lives. Here are a few examples from our PreEmploy graduates.

Making a tough decision: One participant cut ties with a carer, as she felt both unsafe and mistreated.

I’ve come this far, I want to go further: Once homeless, David managed to get off the streets with the help of a worker called Vicki. That success made him think, “I’ve got a home now, maybe I can get a job, too!”

Positive changes: Leanne has identified a “deepening compassion” that has led to having an “even more positive influence on my fellow travelers, my family and my community.”

Opening up: Carlyle Arbilo said that: “We were really quiet in the beginning, but now – four months in – we’ve opened up to each other. We ask each other for advice and support, and sometimes even for a hug!”

Developing responsibility: “I’ve gained a sense of responsibility and a schedule.”

Listening to others: “PreEmploy has taught me so much, including being punctual, being able to communicate with others, and listening to their ideas and comments.”

Helping others: “I eventually want to start a support group for people with multiple personalities, as there aren’t any in Australia,” said Michelle.

You can read more about these stories in the December 12th issue of PreEmploy’s TOP RUNG newsletter Graduation Edition. For copies, contact Peter Tos at PreEmploy on (02) 9393 9180

Here are a couple of the many stories behind the people who graduated on the 12th of December 2014 from PreEmploy Institute.

Simon Jaeger: Before PreEmploy, I had low self-esteem, very little confidence and not many friends. Thankfully, Peter Tos and Kathy Te Nuku took a chance on me, even though I would be away for some of the time. Since starting at PreEmploy I have been elected to the EAC (Employee Advisory Committee) as a representative for PEI by my classmates, even though I didn’t even consider putting my name down because of my low self-esteem. The class must have seen a skill for leadership and representation. With PreEmploy I have felt accepted among my peers, like never before and I have also swapped contact numbers with classmates to keep in contact. Hopefully next year I will be accepted with OstaraPRA (RichmondPRA’s outside employment agency). Before PreEmploy I had not seen myself getting into open employment, but PreEmploy has helped me with social skills, employment skills, confidence and the self-esteem that I really needed.

Janet B had been with PRA Redfern and later RichmondPRA Marrickville for about seven years, including her time spent with PreEmploy Institute and Buckprint Graphics. This is what Janet told TOP RUNG, the magazine of PreEmploy institute:

“I wanted to do the course and work experience at PreEmploy because some of my friends did the course and they told me it was encouraging and interesting. I prayed about getting into the course and I was happy when I was accepted.

“I wanted to learn and have support and gain some skills on the computer; I also wanted to get experience, like doing reception and answering the phones and transferring calls. I also learned a lot about mental health.

“Through the PreEmploy course I gained new skills like learning about resumes and writing letters to employers and learning about business letters.”

Janet came to the December graduation with her fiancé, Robert, and her friend of twenty-eight years, Angie. Janet and Angie met at TAFE where they were both doing a library technicians course as young ladies, and Janet is very pleased about having had a friendship that has lasted so long. Janet’s fiancé Robert works in packing with DSA Mascot, and Janet is looking forward to getting a job herself at a major variety store this year, and part of this is getting her resume ready.

“I’ve always wanted to work in a place like this,” Janet said.

Although she has tried reception work, Janet thinks she would be better suited to work in a store, and hopes to earn some fairly decent money doing it, too!

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