As National Reconciliation Week draws to a close our very own Financial Accountant Sam Roberts talks about why we need to reconcile, and not just in accounting! https://www.charteredaccountantsanz.com/news-and-analysis/news/why-we-need-to-reconcile-and-not-just-in-accounting
We’re told to find our ‘passion’, follow a dream, discover a vocation in life.If it comes to you, then it’s a calling.That’s what happened to Central Queensland coal miner and WorkPac employee Ivan Mardones. Ivan faced his depression and anxiety demons and founded a not for profit charity named ‘A Chance for Change’ which promotes mental health amongst men.The process towards positive mental health for Ivan included finding a different way to express his values like love, loyalty and hard work.It is summed up in the organisation’s motto, where ‘speaking up’, unlike hardening up, ‘is manning up’.A Chance for Change gives men the opportunity to talk by creating familiarity in delivering services both on and off site, Ivan said.The group has 33 ambassadors on sites around the country, and a barbershop in East Brisbane called Stigma Cutz. A Brisbane based coffee shop called Stigma Cutz will also be opening soon.As a coal miner, Ivan found that despite the efforts to promote men’s mental health on so many levels, there was something missing at the ground level.“I've got different stages I'm working on in the strategic plan, to get to where we want to be. One of the key elements is social connection,” he said.“So, I thought if we create places where mundane things such as getting a haircut can become an experience of social connection, then we're one step closer to breaking those barriers that have formed over the last 50-100 years in this country.“And one of the little twists is having the Mental Health First Aid-certified barber.“… the barber can assess when someone's in need, or they've got no idea where to go for help; or someone needs to help someone else, but they don't know where to start. They can get that information while they're getting the haircut.”WorkPac is also fortunate that one of its clients, Chris Doherty, is an Ambassador at A Chance for Change.Preventable death is the lasting impression Chris took from 12 years as a volunteer State Emergency Service member working on the Queensland-New South Wales border.Chris entered the mining industry in Queensland and has since taken on a pro-active role in promoting positive mental health through his work as an ambassador for A Chance for Change.It was a chance to continue to make a contribution, Chris said.“I joined up (to the SES) as soon as I could, straight out of school, and was in it up until about 2012 when I started doing fly-in, fly-out,” Chris said.“One of the things that we did fairly often was body recoveries from the bush, and quite a number of the body recoveries were suicide victims.“… it moved me to want to try to help that side of things as well, …, so I thought I'd volunteer my help somewhere else.”The group gave him the opportunity to help deliver services at the ground level, said Chris.“Oh man, a lot of the ones I've seen myself are just guys missing their children or missing out on family gatherings, family outings,” he said.“Guys just get lonely and bummed about it really and get down and withdraw into themselves a little bit, or get a little bit angrier than they usually are.“So yeah, it doesn't hurt to go, ‘hey man, you want to talk?’ and once someone's realised that you're willing to listen to them and listen to them without jumping in over the top of them and; that you're not judging them for who they are or anything like that.“You're just there as a set of ears for them and to try and help them. They're generally pretty open towards seeking help.”A Chance for Change had the full support of WorkPac in Townsville, said Townsville Business Centre Manager Elisabeth Kelemete.While WorkPachad processes in place for identifying and addressing mental health issues, there was always room for intervention said Lis.The business centre had donated $1000 through the WorkPac ‘GiveBack’ program to help A Chance for A Change set up the ‘Stigma Cutz’ barbershop in Brisbane.The ambassadors were welcomed at toolbox meetings and pre-starts to promote the service and had already made their presence felt among staff, she said.As a WorkPac employee, you can access free psychology through our Employee Assistance Program. To make an appointment, call the 24/7 number 1800 056 076. You can learn more here.Alternatively, there are other services you can reach out to:Lifeline has a 24-hour crisis line that you can call for support, and many valuable resources are available on their website. You can call on 13 11 14 or visit their website here: Beyond Blue also have a 24-hour line you can reach on 1300 22 4636, and their website offers plenty of advice and information:
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.
- WORKPAC EMPLOYEE