It’s hard to believe we are approaching the end of another year.  This has been another milestone year for Fitted for Work.  A year of triumphs and challenges.

We were very proud to be recognised as finalists in no less than three awards ceremonies this year.  These included:

  • Australian Centre for Leadership for Women (ACWL) – Australian Diversity Award. Our very own Merredith Hillebrand, Program Manager National Projects, was a national finalist.
  • HESTA Social Impact Awards – National Finalist
  • Telstra Business Awards – State Finalist

It is always heartening to receive recognition not only for the social impact our services have on the community but also in acknowledging the professionalism and business acumen of the Fitted for Work team. It is the combination of both of these elements that ensures we continue to exist and provide high quality services to women who need them most.

Whilst the recognition is a wonderful acknowledgement, more importantly they allow us to raise our profile.  To represent women experiencing disadvantage and communicate the barriers they face in finding and keeping employment.

We also received an opportunity to discuss what we do in more detail at two very significant events that occurred in Victoria in the later part of the year.

The first was an invitation to be part of the consultation process lead by the State Government in developing the Victorian Gender Equality Strategy.  In this forum we were able to talk about the importance of economic empowerment of women. The Strategy launched by Minister Richardson this week will identify opportunities for secure job creation for women.

The second was the historic “Breakthrough” event, hosted by the Victorian Women’s Trust.  This event saw over 100 speakers deliver to 1000 attendees in a 2 day event.  The first of its kind to be held in Australia.  Breakthrough that brought big ideas, leading thinkers and passionate change-makers together not to rehash what we already know but to forge a clear path forward for equality. Fitted for Work was asked to participate and once again we had an opportunity to speak for those women who don’t have a voice. We were able to articulate the systemic barriers that women face in trying to obtain and then keep work.  More importantly we were able to share solutions we have developed with the launch of our latest social enterprise, SheWorks. (Last year SheWorks successfully placed 40 women into tram driver roles with Yarra Trams).

This has been an eventful year to build a wider national presence, a stronger brand and provide a clear message around Fitted for Work’s proven solutions for those women who need us most.

We know there is still so much work to do and so many more women who need our help. In order to do this we need to funds to continue to provide our quality services.  This is the time of year that we ask you, our supporters, to invest in the future of women experiencing disadvantage.  By investing you not only make a difference in the life of a woman experiencing disadvantage but also of her children, community, the Australian economy and society as a whole.

Thank you for your support this year.  On behalf of the Fitted for Work Team, I wish you a safe and happy holiday season and look forward to seeing you in 2017!