True Stories

True Stories: Tina Whiffen – Working it out

Tina-2I actually stumbled upon working with people with a disability in my first career. I’d just finished my Bachelor of Science university degree and was working as a horticulturalist in Welby Garden Centre  in the NSW Southern Highlands. Welby ran a sheltered workshop for people with a disability via Challenge Southern Highlands. In addition to honing my own horticultural skills, I helped train the people with a disability. I loved it.

Despite this, I continued my work as a horticulturalist in a few different places and eventually moved back to my hometown of Bega. It was here I realised that there was more to the world and I remembered the joy I experienced when working with people with a disability at Welby. I saw a job advertised as an Employment Consultant at WorkAbility, a service of The Disability Trust, and thought that would be a great opportunity to rekindle the feeling I had at Welby and to make a difference.

True Stories: Margaret Donnelly – Career development

Margaret-DonnellyFollowing university, I worked in PNG for a number of years creating computer graphics for the signage and printing industry. I returned to Australia and worked in Retail Management whilst studying for a Cert IV in Human Resources, Workplace Training & Assessment and a Post Grad in HR Management in the evenings.

I used these new skills in a large retail organisation before deciding to try something new. I applied for a locum HR position with Northcott at Parramatta and spent a wonderful 12 months there. Working in the Not-For-Profit sector was inspiring and exciting. It fulfilled so many of my personal ambitions and the cooperative nature of the industry. After the cut throat world of competitive retail, it was refreshing to be able to share ideas and work collaboratively with other professionals to make life better for disadvantaged groups. Following my son’s birth, we elected to make a ‘tree-change’ and moved back to my home town to access eager grandparents and the sweet smell of nature.