A better life – Sonja’s story

Sonja has overcome domestic violence to create a happy, safe and independent life for her family. She recently secured a job as a Relief Child Care Educator.

The Melbourne job seeker came to MatchWorks not long after leaving her abusive marriage.

“Sonja began meeting with me regularly, but also with our on-site Health and Wellbeing Consultant, Michelle,” MatchWorks Employment Consultant, Amanda said.

A time for healing and growth

Health and Wellbeing Consultant Michelle collaborated with Employment Consultant, Amanda to help Sonja find a fresh start.

Amanda and Michelle helped Sonja to:

  • Raise any issues or concerns she had because of her past trauma.
  • Identify possible career options.
  • Enrol into a Certificate III course in childcare.

“I had worked in administration before my ex-husband forced me not to work,” Sonja said.

“Every time I would get a job, he would mess with my head so I would quit. I gave up and felt like I was always doing something wrong.

“I knew I couldn’t cope with administration work, but I was really interested in childcare and knew I could do it.”

Finding her voice

After completing her Certificate III course, Sonja soon found work but her first role was disappointing.

“I wasn’t happy in my first job,” Sonja said.

“The centre was employing staff with no experience who didn’t follow procedures. The environment was affecting my mental health. As soon as I resigned, I felt a lot better.”

Sonja told her employer that it wasn’t right to compromise the health and safety of the children in her care. This was one of the first times she had used her voice and influenced her future.

A fresh start

Amanda helped Sonja to apply and interview for another role in childcare where she was offered a full-time role. At the time, she could only accept a casual role due to her parenting commitments. With support from Amanda and her employer, the single mum has now moved to a full-time role with hours that suit her family.    

“I’m excited to go to work, enjoying my role and learning a lot from the other educators – they’re awesome. I want to learn more about observations and get my Diploma in childcare,” Sonja said.

“Amanda was understanding, helpful and encouraging. She listened to me and not only about work – she listened about other stuff too. Staying strong and positive helped, and I got a lot of support from my church too.”

Sonja is now financially independent and the future for her and her family is much brighter.

“I can finally support my kids,” Sonja said.

“They’re coping well and getting into a positive routine. It hasn’t been easy, but I know things can get better.”

Find out more about our employment services for job seekers and businesses, or call 1300 13 23 63 to chat to your local team.

Domestic violence support is available. If you’re in immediate danger, call 000.