Anthony finds new career with purpose after injury

Photo of DES client Anthony at MatchWorks Mandurah office

Mandurah-resident Anthony forged a new career as a Trainer and Assessor in response to a life-changing injury. 

Two years ago, Anthony was unable to work after a debilitating back injury and was questioning how he would be able to support his family. He had spent more than fifteen years working in the civil construction industry – the majority of his working life. 

Years of tough physical labour had taken a toll on his body. In 2020 he experienced a serious back injury that resulted in a bulging disc, associated nerve injuries and debilitating pain.  

The usually active 40-year-old found himself bedridden for two months and contemplating the challenge ahead.  

“I was wondering ‘what am I going to do with myself’. I wasn’t able to go back to what I was doing. I can’t do ‘hard yakka’ or operate machinery all day,” he said. 

A chance conversation opens new career door  

Although Anthony’s health began to improve, he was unable to return to a physically demanding role. As a Disability Employment Service (DES) client, he worked with MatchWorks Mandurah to investigate what other career avenues could be open to him. 

He applied for a supervisor role in civil construction. When he attended the interview, he learned the company needed a Trainer and Assessor. 

The conversation rekindled a former interest in training and vocational education. 

“I wanted to get into that field years ago before that happened with my back,” he said. “I just didn’t know if I was able to do it or not.” 

Recognising Anthony’s experience and potential, the employer offered to support him to complete a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. MatchWorks funded the training to help Anthony return to work in an industry he knows and loves. 

Sharing knowledge and experience with the next generation  

After becoming qualified, Anthony started a casual role as a Trainer and Assessor in Civil Construction. After nine months he secured a permanent, full-time role with Civil Train where he has worked for one year. 

“I’m able to stay in civil construction and I get to share my knowledge and my experience with the up-and-coming guys – and the older guys as well! It’s my way of giving back, being a part of it and having a job,” he said.  

Drawing on support so you can help yourself 

Anthony credits the support of Kristy, Gemma and the team at MatchWorks Mandurah as an important part of his successful career change.  

The self-described ‘diamond in the rough’ hand-delivered the team a celebratory cake to express his appreciation on the one-year anniversary of his current role. 

“Just them being there supporting me if I needed it. Checking in on me. Letting me know of services I could use,” he said. “I wanted to succeed, they just gave me the support and the tools.” 

“It’s about you using the support to help yourself and to do what you need to do to make it work.”  

Find out more about MatchWorks Disability Employment Services