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WCA and industry partners changing women’s lives

In February 2024, Rong's life took a pivotal turn, intersecting with the compassionate efforts of Sophie and the support of WomenCAN Australia (WCA).

As a sole parent juggling a mortgage and facing a demanding commute from Echuca to Shepparton, Rong’s journey was fraught with challenges.

“With no social or professional networks locally, try as she might, she just could not secure employment locally as a PCA,” Sophie explained.

It was during this uncertain time that Rong discovered the Brotherhood of St. Lawrence Work & Learning Centre online. She reached out to Sophie, the Team Leader, whose assessment of Rong’s situation revealed not just professional potential but also the pressing need for a safer, more sustainable employment solution. Sophie recognised the toll Rong’s daily highway commute—rife with kangaroo hazards and accidents—was taking on her well-being and family life. Determined to find a solution, Sophie made a pivotal decision to connect Rong with Simone from WomenCAN Australia.

Simone, known for her advocacy and integrity, quickly saw Rong’s potential. “From the first conversation I had with Rong, I instantly heard in her voice and saw the caring nature and passion she had for the industry. Rong and I worked closely on interview techniques and skills,” Simone recalled.

Together, they updated Rong’s CV and prepared her for interviews, focusing not only on professional skills but also on nurturing Rong’s confidence and career aspirations. Simone’s dedication didn’t stop at job applications; she actively advocated for Rong within local services and industries, highlighting her skills and commitment.

The breakthrough came when Mercy Health and Shepparton Villages extended job offers to Rong, recognising her dedication and skills in PCA. After careful consideration, Rong chose a permanent position at Shepparton Villages, marking a new chapter in her career and personal life.

“Receiving the call from Rong to advise she has been offered a part-time position with Shepparton Villages was wonderful—the joy and excitement in her voice and the sense of relief are the reasons why we work so hard to support the women through their journey,” Simone shared.

“This employment will have a significant impact, not only on Rong but also on her father and son. Rong is already planning to study in her free time. The holistic impact on the family unit will be life-changing for all,” Sophie explained.

Rong expressed her gratitude, saying, “Thank you, Simone, and Sophie, for your help and support for me all the time. I found Sophie with a determined mentality. She introduced me to WomenCAN. Sophie is very intelligent and considerate! I told her my appeal, and she handled my information very professionally with the other woman. Simone is very responsible for her work and is very attentive to my case. She understands my family situation, knows my needs, knows that I have financial problems, and prioritises safety. She has demonstrated exceptional ability in helping me find a job! She is outstanding. I think they are heroes of the city. She is fantastic.”

Rong’s story is a testament to the transformative power of collaboration and compassionate support provided by organisations like WomenCAN Australia and their industry partners. Through their dedication, women like Rong find not just jobs but paths to brighter, more fulfilling futures, enriching their lives and those of their loved ones.

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