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Phil stands outside an office building in a navy jacket with the red logo of the security company he works for on the sleeves. He's looking down the street, holding a walkie talkie. He looks serious, reflecting on the importance of his role.

New Life Begins at 50 for Phil

Turning 50 is more than just a milestone birthday for Phil. It represents a major turning point in his life. With the support from Workskil Australia, Phil has made a life changing transformation.


With both a home and a job for the first time in a decade, the Adelaide security guard feels he has rediscovered his purpose in life.

“I didn’t think I’d make 50,” Phil says. “I’ve had a lot of challenges in my life but I feel like I now have a purpose.”

Phil is working at two major metropolitan hospitals in Adelaide in a role that sees him looking after the safety of patients and staff.

He also has permanent accommodation and is on his way to obtaining a driver’s licence.

However getting to this point has been a long and difficult journey for Phil who has experienced homelessness and unemployment along the way.

“I originally worked in the furniture industry across assembly, storehouse and delivery,” he says.

“However my wife passed away nine years ago and my life was turned upside down.

“I hit the bottle, struggled with depression and anxiety and couldn’t find work.

“I was in financial trouble and lost my home a few years back.

“It was very hard to afford rental accommodation and I relied on mates to provide me with a spare bed. Not having a place of your own makes it very hard to do the everyday things people take for granted like washing clothes and storing personal items. That all makes it really hard to find and hold down a job.”

With the help of Workskil Australia, Phil landed a position with KM Corporate Security – his first job in 10 years.

Workskil Australia is also helping Phil with driving lessons to obtain his licence.

Phil’s experience with homelessness is not uncommon among Australian job seekers.

Workskil Australia’s Work Watch report from June 2022 found that more than 1 in 10 people who have gained employment during the June 2022 Quarter disclosed as having experienced homelessness.

Michelle O’Toole, Recruitment and Retention Manager at KM Corporate Security, said there was currently a high level of demand for security guards.

“As we employ new guards with no industry experience, we look for good customer service, communication and presentation. Reliability and a strong work ethic is also required,” Michelle says.

“We have been extremely impressed with Phil’s life changing transformation."

“When we first met Phil, he had been long term unemployed and was couch surfing due to his personal circumstances. KM Corporate Security along with Workskil Australia has supported Phil throughout and provided additional training and licencing and non-vocational support. He has become a valued member of our team.”

With a job, a home and a pay packet, Phil has a renewed outlook on life. “I enjoy the flexibility of my work and getting to know the staff and patients,” he says.

“I now have something to look forward to every day.”

That motivation extends to Phil’s other interests, namely the restoration of his 1979 XD Fairmont and 1979 ZJ Fairlane cars.

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