Month: September 2017

Graduation Day: Certificate III in Warehousing

By Grant J Everett (Harris Park) and Warren Heggarty (Marrickville)

They say that what you get out of something depends on what you put into it. Well, after two years of on-site study, 31 employees from Flourish Aus­tralia’s business services at Marrickville and Harris Park recently graduated with a Certificate III in Warehousing Opera­tions.

With a new, nationally-recognised quali­fication to put into their resumes, these graduates have come much closer to the goal of open employment and financial independence. It’s not just a dream!

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Background in Civil Engineering


Ashokkumar Sundaralingam, or Ashok to his friends, already had qualifications in Engineering when he came to Australia from Sri Lanka.

Graduating from this Certificate III is part of a process of recovering from past set-backs.

Ashok studied civil engineering at Peradeniya University near Kandy in Sri Lanka. ‘I am good at mathematics, I studied advanced level’ says Ashok.

‘My favourite subject at university was multiple span joists, which involves calculating weight, volume, density – how much load a structure can bear. I also studied physics, chemistry and English language.

After that, I worked as a supervisor on motor highway construction.’

Ashok came to Australia in 2004. Owing to mental health issues, he began working in Prestige Packing’s Redfern factory, which later moved to its present location in Marrickville.

‘I prefer practice to theory,’ says Ashok. ‘I was already working in the factory, so I thought I would gain the qualification as well. I enjoyed it!’

Thanks to Wayne Petersen and Alma

Taking Responsibility


Mircea (above) displays his two certificates, the Certificate III in Warehousing Operations and Vocational Pathways.

Mircea has a varied experience of study, work and even self-employment. He studied Construction Management at UTS university and gained a qualification as a Microsoft systems engineer. He has worked for a large Bank, an employment consulting company, and a computer company as well as Australian Hearing Services, having come to Australia from Romania at age 21.’

Mircea’s wife passed away from co­lon cancer aged only 35. After that he moved in with his mother and has received support for mental health issues.

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Focused on the job

Anthony has progressed through supported employment to mentor and Cert III graduate…


Recently graduated from a Certificate III in Warehousing, Anthony Marfia spoke to Panorama about making a recovery journey in the workplace.

Anthony currently works on the site of Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute [EMAI] near Menangle. EMAI is a laboratory involved in ‘biosecurity’ which means protecting our crops and livestock from the possibility of damage from disease.

It is one of the sites for which Flourish Australia is contracted to provide cleaning services. Anthony says he is pretty happy working there, and he lives not so far away in Wilton.

Anthony began accessing Flourish Australia’s services twelve years ago, due to mental health issues. Over the years as a supported employee he has not stood still but has taken on more and more challenging roles as he has progressed.

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What is the idea behind Supported Employment?

A supported employee often has a lot more on their plate than the average worker.

Some supported employees are very highly qualified but have had major setbacks due to long periods of hospitalisation, institutionalisation, or unemployment.

Many people with mental health issues also have poor physical health, and then there are the effects of social disadvantage. Some people have literacy and numeracy problems especially if their mental health issues developed while at school.

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Leadership in Supported Employment

The most important people in the recovery process are the people who access our services, but it doesn’t hurt to have leaders who can act as career role models.

Leadership in Supported Employment.jpg

By ANTONY WEARNE of Royal Sydney Golf Club, formerly Flourish Australia

I haven’t closed the door on Flourish Australia, but gardening is my trade and I saw this offer to move to Royal Sydney Gold Club as a big opportunity to push myself and extend my skills as a horticulturist.

I’ve always wanted to work on a golf course. This is a Professional Golfers Association course, a private club that has top end facilities. It is also the oldest golf club in Australia and they are giving it a new face with a $30 million redesign.

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