Ten years ago, Anna found herself bedridden for four months after badly hurting her back. As a single mum, Anna’s profession as a chef suited her – though the pay was low, the hours were child-friendly.

But the work is hard on the body, and Anna realised she would not be able to return to work without risking her physical health. As the only income earner, she could not afford to be out of work. She had no choice but to look for alternative employment.

Anna felt heavy grief at leaving the profession. She says it was the most frightening transition of her life after leaving home for the first time: “It was like leaving my identity behind.”

Anna experienced a lack of confidence that was compounded by not having suitable interview clothes. She needed help finding an inexpensive suit. This is why she came through the Fitted for Work doors.

“The suit I received from Fitted for Work changed my life. It represented a transition into a different world and was like putting a magic cloak on, because I looked the part. I got the job I wanted in that suit, despite my nerves.”

Anna soon realised that she could incorporate her culinary skills into her next role. She became a trainer and used her talents to encourage people to move out of their comfort zones. Word soon got out that if you attended Anna’s workshops, you’d walk away with a booty of delicious blueberry muffins or chocolate chip cookies!

Anna’s mantra is that, ‘Life is about the exchange of positive and negative energies’. And she is keen to give back. Anna has given inspirational chats to women taking part in Fitted for Work’s Transition to Work program and often buys gifts from Dear Gladys.

Anna is hoping to fulfil her dream to be a culinary archivist.