Colleen's Story

Colleen's Story

Life Without Barriers is both Colleen Raven’s life motto and the name of her employer.

Colleen, aged 45, is a mother of two school-aged children, and registered with Workskil Australia in Oaklands Park, South Australia, looking for work.

A member of the Aboriginal community, she was eager to take part in any opportunities that would benefit the wider community.

Through Workskil Australia, Colleen attended an information session on community service traineeships. This session was organised by the ‘Community Services Consortium’ a group organisations including Life Without Barriers, AnglicareSA, Baptist Care, Uniting Care Wesley Port Adelaide, Australian Red Cross, Tauondi Aboriginal College and Vital Consult. The Consortium was formed to achieve a shared goal in creating real employment outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the community services industry in South Australia.

Colleen was then selected to participate in a five-week pre-employment course at Tauondi Aboriginal College.

Following the course, she participated in group interviews with representatives from each organisation in the Consortium. Workskil Australia provided her with training, transport, a uniform and covered other associated costs.

Through this assistance, and her successful prior studies, Colleen secured a full-time traineeship with Life Without Barriers (LWB). The not-for-profit organisation delivers disability services, out-of-home care, aged care, mental health support, homelessness and refugees and asylum seeker support. LWB recently launched their 2016-2019 National Stretch RAP (Reconciliation Action Plan) to ensure a focus on reconciliation is deeply embedded in all their programs and activities.

Three months into her new position, Colleen’s employers have praised her obvious enthusiasm and positive attitude in assisting people through the programs she works on.

“I enjoy being able to support people in making a difference in their lives. They are all beautiful people who often don’t have much but are always willing to give,” Colleen said.

She said she feels privileged to work for LWB, an organisation which has a strong commitment to reconciliation, closing the gap and celebrating diversity.

Workskil Australia has a dedicated Indigenous division that works on bringing together employers and Indigenous jobseekers.

Workskil Australia Indigenous Employment Mentor Aaron Dadleh maintains regular contact with Colleen to ensure she is receiving the support she needs to fulfil her career aspirations.

“We are committed to improving the employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island jobseekers,” Mr Dadleh said.

“We encourage these jobseekers to reach out to our indigenous employment service teams in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.”

“Anita and Aaron have both been very supportive in helping me achieve my career goals after being out of the workforce for several years caring for my children,” Colleen said.