Geelong employee a finalist for national award

Geelong’s Jessie Abrahams has faced significant challenges in her life, which may have stopped other people in their tracks.

The Indigenous mother of three was in a car accident when she was seven years old which left her with an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). The injury led to years of treatment including neurosurgery and rehabilitation, and made school life difficult.

Finding ongoing employment also proved to be a challenge for Jessie, until a connection with local employment agency MatchWorks and AFL SportsReady landed her an ongoing role at Officeworks Geelong.

Twelve months later, Jessie remains a valued member of the Officeworks team, and is a finalist in the Achiever of the Year Category at the upcoming National Employment Services Association (NESA) awards.

Jessie said working again after having her boys had given her overall wellbeing a significant boost.

“I had been out of work for 11 years while I was raising the boys, and it was a bit tough coming in every week and repeating my story. But Jen (MatchWorks Employment Consultant Jenny Middleton) was always trying to get me a job, she was great,” Jessie said.

“After a while I realised I’ve got to give this a shot, I’ve got nothing to lose. I was sick of staying at home.”

Jessie completed further education and specialist training including the Deadly Yakka employment program during her time with MatchWorks.

She said the Officeworks team had also been a great support.

“The managers have been very supportive,” Jessie said.

“It makes me happy to get up and go to work and get the job done and go home to my kids. I think they’re a bit proud of their Mum.”