Regional Highlight

A new career from Sandy Mac’s heart of gold

Now in its second year, RDA’s multi-award-winning MFA Jobs 4  Murraylands program aims to bridge the gap between unemployed people and the many employers in our region crying out for skilled and motivated workers. Having successfully transitioned from long-term unemployment to a fulfilling role with Mid Murray Support Services, Sandy Mac is a picture of success for the program.

Kind smiles and warm, welcoming greetings are Sandy’s first memories of her initial Jobs 4 Murraylands session.

“I was greeted with understanding and advice, and from that day on I looked forward to attending.”

Sandy was deeply moved by the thoughtful, safe environment created for her and fellow course participants. This safety was key to Sandy’s experience, with whom the earnest words of RDA Employment and Training Manager Shaun Harris struck a chord: “No-one in this room is unemployable.”

Sandy had heard the opposite from numerous health professionals in the midst of her debilitating battle with depression. By contrast, the Jobs 4 Murraylands pre-employment training program emphasised resilience.

“We were encouraged to place focus on our worth and our strengths – to remove negative feelings about ourselves,” Sandy says. “I began to engage, to come back to life.”

Participants were guided through resume writing, supported through accredited training, and were even given a gym membership.

“Everyone has been so supportive” Sandy says. “I’m moving into the disability sector with a view to becoming a mentor.”

In 2017, the program took home three South Australian awards, including Adult Learning Program of the Year, and was an Australian Training Awards finalist in the Industry Collaboration category.

Sandy picked up her own gong too – the Committed Resilient and Proud Award for her outstanding achievements in the program, and for encouraging others to take up the opportunity to turn their lives around.

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“I have a lifetime of experiences to draw from, a heart of gold and the drive and commitment to make a change to someone else’s life.”

RDAMR
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