By Amanda Carlile.


2019 has certainly been a busy year in client services. We have doubled our team over the last 12 months in the face of the huge demand for our suite of virtual services, email resume support, and Skype outfitting appointments. Virtual provides a critical service for women who are isolated through lack of economic opportunity, family breakdown, domestic violence or other variables impacting employment. Through a phone call or on Skype, we can reach women in all parts of Australia and provide them with relevant support and resources. Our team can quickly identify other services that might help assist women in their employment journey, whether it be free computer courses or LinkedIn classes, using advanced searches and our accrued knowledge bank of services.

We have successfully completed a number of tailor-made programs supported through a series of grants from Clayton Utz Foundation, The Danks Trust, The Lord Mayors Charitable Foundation, Allens, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Sisters of Charity Foundation and Bennelong Foundation. Programs that have supported young women, women over 55 and women exiting Prison all to find their confidence and commence their journey into work. The future statistics for all of these groups of women look bleak on paper, and so we continue to develop tailored services specifically to meet their needs and challenges.

We have engaged in some new and exciting corporate partnerships this year. Our collaboration with LinkedIn, who will provide regular workshops to support staff, clients, and volunteers in using the platform to find work opportunities, while our partnership with VicSuper who will support 30 women through the WomanKind program, to help them enter or re-enter the workforce.

We continue to develop significant relationships in the community sector and in particular the LGBTQI+ community as our pilot program to support Transgender, Gender Diverse and Non-Binary (TGDNB) clients continues to exceed all expectations. In just 8 months we have delivered over 270 services across Victoria and have developed over 30 key partnerships such as Globe, Thorne Harbour, La Trobe University and Bupa; demonstrating the substantial support and opportunities that exist to progress training, education and employment pathways to support TGDNB people.

Now in its third year, the Fitted for Work Multicultural Hub in Parramatta has become an essential part of the Parramatta community by assisting over 300 women to learn practical job search skills. By engaging volunteers from a diversity of cultures in the local community to work with female clients, we have been able to fill a gap in resume writing and mock interview services for women from a migrant and refugee background.
And of course, we couldn’t provide these services to women without the help of a team of over 270 dedicated volunteers and mentors. This year we have created a Volunteer Manager role, filled by Merredith Murphy, and introduced an online platform for mentor matches. Both of which will help us to better support and recognise the work of our volunteer workforce in 2020.