Wanted: More work op­por­tu­ni­ties for re­gion’s Aboriginal peo­ple

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DUBBO is well served by the Aboriginal Em­ploy­ment Strat­egy (AES), an or­gan­i­sa­tion that’s qui­etly chang­ing lives by pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties sup­ported by on­go­ing men­tor­ing.

And those in­di­vid­ual out­comes are col­lec­tively adding up to plenty when it comes to mak­ing Dubbo a bet­ter place to live, with all the re­search show­ing that when peo­ple have ful­fill­ing and re­ward­ing lives, they’re able to more pos­i­tively con­trib­ute to the wider so­ci­ety.

AES Ca­reer Re­cruit­ment Of­fi­cer Ann-ma­ree Chan­dler says the or­gan­i­sa­tion would like to see more em­ploy­ers trust­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion to pro­vide good, solid, long-term can­di­dates for their em­ploy­ment op­tions.

With the dust set­tling on Higher School Cer­tifi­cate re­sults, school leavers are now faced with the daunt­ing task of what to do with the rest of their lives. NA­TALIE HOLMES asked headspace com­mu­nity and youth en­gage­ment co­or­di­na­tor Amy Mines for the best ap­proach to life af­ter Year 12.

WHAT kind of chal­lenges do young peo­ple face af­ter their Year 12 ex­ams?

School leavers face the daunt­ing ques­tion as they hang up their school bags for the last time, “What do you want to do for the rest of your life and where do you see your­self work­ing?”

Such a big ques­tion to an­swer and it isn’t one that they are ex­pected to know. It’s all trial and er­ror with manag­ing work and study op­tions.

It is also a big pe­riod of ad­just­ment, com­ing out of rou­tine such as school and study – the chal­lenges in day to day life­style can be dif­fi­cult to get used to.

Keep­ing your­self busy and pur­su­ing other in­ter­ests can help with­out adding any un­nec­es­sary pres­sure or strain whilst you take some time to con­sider your op­tions and seek ad­vice.

How does this im­pact on their emo­tional well­be­ing?

It’s im­por­tant to ac­knowl­edge that you may not get the marks you wanted. How­ever, this isn’t your only op­tion to ex­celling in life. There are so many dif­fer­ent path­ways to ac­cess study­ing or em­ploy­ment. And if Plan A doesn’t work – there is al­ways a Plan B.

What signs are there that in­di­cate if some­thing isn’t right?

You may feel de­flated, low in your mood, un­mo­ti­vated, not so­cial­is­ing or sleep­ing a lot. Ev­ery­body re­acts dif­fer­ently to stress and pres­sure. How­ever, there are sim­ple tools you can use be­fore things spi­ral out of con­trol. The sooner you or a loved one recog­nise the signs, the eas­ier it will be to man­age.

As for the tools, our Youth Care Co­or­di­na­tors can as­sist with these. We also of­fer work­shops on var­i­ous top­ics which are fre­quently ad­ver­tised on our so­cial me­dia plat­forms.

What kind of plan can they im­ple­ment to al­le­vi­ate any pos­si­ble is­sues from aris­ing?

Im­ple­ment strate­gies for self-care like putting the phone down and time off tech­nol­ogy. Take some time out to switch off like go­ing for a walk, walk­ing the dog, cook­ing a meal, catch­ing up with a friend in per­son or read­ing.

If some or all of these things seem for­eign or are just not help­ing, a Youth Care Co­or­di­na­tor can also help work through strate­gies to al­le­vi­ate what might be hap­pen­ing and pro­vide tools for your tool­kit to utilise later on – at univer­sity, in the work­place, or with new re­la­tion­ships.

There are also many in-kind sup­port ser­vices that visit headspace reg­u­larly such as Cen­tre­link, fi­nan­cial coun­selling and le­gal sup­port ser­vices who can as­sist with in­for­ma­tion on ben­e­fits, manag­ing fi­nances and pay­ing off fines. There are also path­ways to con­sul­tants from univer­sity and TAFE.

What can headspace do to ease the tran­si­tion from school into the next stage of their lives?

The In­di­vid­ual Place­ment Sup­port pro­gram at headspace can pro­vide as­sis­tance with re­sume writ­ing, in­ter­view skills, sup­port and guid­ance for em­ploy­ment with un­lim­ited on­go­ing sup­port both be­fore and af­ter em­ploy­ment. You don’t al­ready have to be a client of headspace to seek as­sis­tance, and you can self-re­fer.

What can fam­i­lies do to sup­port this shift?

Fam­i­lies can be sup­port­ive of their young per­son and give them sup­port and space to nav­i­gate this path, en­cour­ag­ing their young per­son to talk about their con­cerns, but also un­der­stand­ing that they may not know how to do that as they have just en­tered a com­pletely new and un­founded space.

If fam­i­lies are strug­gling to know how to best sup­port their young per­son, they can seek ad­vice with ser­vices such as Catholic­care Wil­can­nia-forbes who of­fer Par­ent/ Carer Sup­port Groups or one-on-one ap­point­ments, ei­ther at their of­fice, or in the headspace cen­tre.

There are also some fan­tas­tic re­sources and we­bi­nars on­line at headspace.org.au.

Over the hol­i­day pe­riod, if you have con­cerns, you can also use the on­line coun­selling ser­vice headspace.org.au/e headspace or call the Men­tal Health Line on 1800 011 511.


Headspace Vo­ca­tional Spe­cial­ist Ca­role Bay­ley, Com­mu­nity and Youth En­gage­ment Co­or­di­na­tor Amy Mines,and Vo­ca­tional Spe­cial­ist So­phie Hand­saker are three of the friendly faces who can as­sist school-leavers with post-school op­tions through the In­di­vid­ual Place­ment Sup­port pro­gram. You don’t need to al­ready be a headspace client to ac­cess the ser­vice and you can self-re­fer. #weve­g­o­ty­our­back.

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