Denise Ftm Story 001 03


03/07/2019BY: Tracey Mesken

In Michelle Laylan’s work as a relationship manager for WorkPac’s Indigenous division JobTrail, she gets to travel across Western Australia matching Indigenous job seekers to roles with great companies. This gives her the opportunity to meet a wide range of people and hear their stories. At a recent assessment centre in Busselton, Michelle met Denise and was humbled by her story of strength and perseverance. Denise was successful in receiving a position with WorkPac on a Rio Tinto site, and Michelle sat down with her to talk about her journey to this new role.

Going about our jobs filling roles, we can sometime forget that a job is not just a job but an opportunity for someone to change their entire life .

I organize and facilitate Assessment Centres for Rio Tinto and amongst the successful candidates in our Bussleton Assessment Centre was a lady who had a story that not many of us could not relate to. Denise had endured 20 years of domestic violence and one day, for the safety of herself and children, found the strength to walk away. More stresses and tragedy followed when Denise lost her father, once again Denise found the strength to be strong for herself and her children.

Like many Aboriginal job seekers, Denise had started doing courses and applying online for jobs. For two years straight she was job hunting with numerous knock backs, but she never gave up. Denise got the opportunity to participate in an Assessment Centre that I was running where she participated in a team activity and an interview with a Superintendent from Rio Tinto.

I remember calling Denise and letting her know that she was successful. Denise confessed that she was so nervous and wasn’t sure if she did enough to get through, she was so excited and kept thanking me for the opportunity. Like I tell all my successful candidates, I provide the opportunity but you make the impression. The Assessment Centres are designed so that the leader sees a side to Indigenous candidates that they don’t see on their resumes, and in this case they saw a woman who has been working hard to change her life, and her commitment to this fit well with their company values.

“I now have a job with WorkPac learning how to drive dump trucks. I never thought that it would happen, but it did. I am so excited that I’ve got the opportunity to prove myself to my employer and my children. I kept trying and never gave up on what I always wanted to do”

Denise has now been in her new role at Hope Downs 1 for over a month now and is going well and although she was nervous, she once again found the strength to start a new chapter of her life. She is able to take on this new journey with the support of family and mainly her partner who has been with her every step of the way.

Denise thanks Michelle Laylan from JobTrail/WorkPac, Mel Riley from the Wirrpanda Foundation, Emma Greengrass from Max Employment and Rio Tinto for the chance to prove herself.
JobTrail’s partnerships with community are an important part of our business and this is the perfect example of how working together can make a change in someone’s life.

You can learn more about JobTrail here.