Help for isolated people in Ballarat

Sandra Gallagher Bargain Browsers

When COVID-19 saw the doors close on our Bargain Browsers store in Ballarat, Manager Sandra Gallagher and the team were wondering what to do with all the books and games.   They came up with a wonderful idea, setting up a community library in the foyer of their office. With social isolation taking its toll on Ballarat residents, the team have encouraged locals to come and pick up something that may help their time at home.   “We want people to come through and grab a book or two, or a puzzle for the kids,” said Sandra.   “It’s really important that people have ways to keep their minds active. If they’re just sitting at home, they may focus on all the negatives going on at the moment.”

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Dean’s dreams come true with NEIS

When Dean first joined the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) program in 2017 he had one clear goal – to be self-employed for the freedom to run his own business and balance his life, family and work commitments.   Delivered by our BRACE team in Port Adelaide, NEIS assists eligible job seekers who want to start a small business with training and mentoring.   Initially, Dean’s business provided mechanical maintenance and welding for large construction sites and industrial onsite maintenance. It has been quite the learning curve for Dean and his partner Julia who manages the administration of the business, but their marketing efforts are now paying dividends.   Their services have expanded over the past year to include site shutdown and mechanical breakdown call-outs and b ...

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Tree Planting with Parks Victoria – by Reece, SkillsPlus VCAL Senior student

On the 23rd of July my SkillsPlus VCAL class along with the year 10 and 11 classes went on an excursion to the Patterson Rivers to help Parks Victoria. Before we actually arrived there, we first started at the Frankston station during the morning and wrote onto the attendance log with our signatures and phone numbers, just so we could keep account of everyone that came on the day.   After checking that everyone was here and ready, we went under the station through a tunnel and walked towards the bus station, unfortunately on the day the trains were being worked on and we could not use the train, we were directed towards where the replacement buses were picking people up. After waiting a few minutes the bus arrived and we all hopped on with the teachers getting on last, to make sure th ...

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Former SkillsPlus VCAL student, the amazing Amy, upskills with a BRACE Certificate IV

Last year, after leaving high school due to difficulties adapting to the mainstream school environment, Amy joined SkillsPlus VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning) in Frankston.   “I was struggling at my old school trying to pass year 11. The teachers and the school environment made it hard for me, so I moved to SkillsPlus where I went onto graduate with a year 12 pass. The teachers were great and there was never a day I would go to school upset.”   Amy enjoyed her VCAL experience so much that she decided to enrol in a Certificate IV in Education Support with BRACE.   “After Year 12 I wanted to study more and gain a qualification in something that I loved doing”, said Amy.   “I chose Education Support as a career pathway to help people. I never really knew wh ...

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Reece’s transition into employment

When Reece, an early school leaver, completed the Transition to Work program with SkillsPlus in Victoria, he took the next step towards employment with the jobactive team in Pakenham, but it took him some time to find his career path.   Transition to Work (TTW) is an Australian Government program providing intensive pre-employment support to young people aged 15 to 21. TTW aims to improve participants work-readiness to help them into work or education.   “Reece was an early school leaver,” said his jobactive consultant Kylie. “We explored various vocational course options and traineeships but nothing seemed to spark his interest”. Reece seemed to be disengaged and then began to work with Hnem, a member of Kylie’s jobactive team.   While Reece wa ...

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