STRONGER TOGETHER: IMPACT's holistic approach to training, employment and support

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By Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services' Managing Director

"STRONGER TOGETHER" is a weekly column where Tanya explores key issues. This week Tanya talks about IMPACT's holistic approach to training, employment and support.

Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services Managing Director
Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services Managing Director

Having a job provides more than just a paycheck.

While it’s always nice to earn money and enjoy the certain freedoms that can buy, studies have shown stable employment is also linked to our overall happiness and wellbeing.

Having a purpose is incredibly rewarding, and finding employment that you enjoy is important.

That’s why our jobactive and youth employment programs strive to find our job seekers work that aligns with their goals and values.

At IMPACT we aim to keep people motivated in their employment journey and work closely with our training organisation to help clients take the necessary steps towards their ideal jobs.

When looking for employment it’s important that job seekers have the ability to upskill into their desired field.

Assisting our clients to access further studies or gain relevant training is pivotal to their ongoing employment prospects.

Our wrap-around approach to training and employment offers holistic support to our clients in high-demand fields.

We offer Certificate III training in disability support, aged care, home and community care, and hospitality to ensure our clients are not only able to upskill into a rewarding field, but gain sustainable, ongoing employment.

Taking a new step can be daunting, however our training department offers an in-house upskilling option for people already engaged with IMPACT in other areas.

This provides our existing jobactive, Transition to Work or Skilling Queenslanders for Work program participants with a familiar environment while transition into new territory.

Many of our graduates are often able to secure work before finishing their certificates, and are blown away by the obstacles they have been able to overcome both personally and professionally throughout the duration of their course.

Along with training opportunities, we also encourage our clients to engage in other forms of work that can assist them in their employment goals.

Volunteering, gaining work experience and beginning internships are some of the ways we are able to help people make their first steps into employment or back into the workforce.

We pride ourselves on our approach to service delivery, and the employment and training departments replicate that.

Providing wrap-around support allows us to offer improved outcomes for our clients in all areas of employment, parenting and relationships, NDIS, health and mental wellbeing.

Helping people improve their lives is our philosophy and each of our departments strives to achieve this every day to best serve our Bundaberg community.


Finding purpose in the workplace: how can I make an IMPACT?
IMPACT Community Services' JobActive Recruitment Advisor
David Maxey-Fisher

I remember turning 45 years old and thinking to myself, 'Is this what I want to do for the rest of my life?'

I was approaching my 20th anniversary with one the Big Four Banks. I was good at my job, my customers were loyal, I was financially in a strong position but still felt like there was something missing in my professional life. 

I took a three-month sabbatical to give myself some time and distance to consider what I wanted to do next. During this time, I came to realize that financial rewards, while nice, did not make me excited to get up out of bed every morning. I needed something more. I wanted to work somewhere where I could see purpose in what I was doing, something that made a material difference to the community in which I lived.

Every morning for the previous six years I had driven past the front of IMPACT Community Services not really understanding who they were or what they did. I saw a vacancy advertised and was drawn to the phrase 'Community Services.'  Intrigued, I started to do some research and I am glad that I did.

I am now a recruitment advisor at IMPACT, helping people change their lives for the better.

Find employment with IMPACT's jobactive team

What I love about my job is that I can put all the skills I developed in the corporate world, (customer service, attention to detail, planning and organizing, public speaking, computer skills, data analysis, motivation, sales, relationship building) into action that helps people improve their lives, while seeing tangible results for the work that I do. 

I enjoy working in and around people who share the same values as me who also want to make a difference to their community. The vibe at IMPACT is less individualistic and competitive and more collegial, outcome-focused. 

At IMPACT you're not competing against others for a promotion or the boss' attention, not trying to outdo your colleagues. It is always about what outcome is best for the client, and that always involves a positive change in their lives.

The pay was not as lucrative, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was not a deal breaker. The combination of salary sacrifice tax advantages, fortnightly RDOs and greater work flexibility made the position very attractive. 

Interested in a change? Check out our Careers page.

I feel more balanced and happy as a person and am motivated to do my best work for the community in which I live.

Before I started work I was an exchange student in Brazil for Rotary, which may have informed my sense of social justice. I then spent three years at Uni doing a BA in Economics, History and Government, and the next 20 years in banking.

At the bank, I wasn't fulfilled and wanted to do some charity work to feed that side of me that wanted social justice, but the bank work simply took up too much time and was already eating into two of the three pillars of life – family, work and community.

I was able to combine two pillars in one – work and community – as IMPACT helped me connect to the community; the connection that was always missing.

Every company and corporation has a mission statement that you are expected to know and align with, but IMPACT's mission and values were the first I could embrace 100%, that closely and truly aligned with my own.

My definition of success has evolved also. Wins are different than results. Meeting numbers and KPIs is different than helping someone who is changing their life for the better, either by making a positive change or getting a job.  And I always strive to be good at both.

IMPACT Community Services has once again been recognised as a top jobactive provider by the government.

The Australian Government’s Department of Employment, Skills, Family and Small Business has just released its latest quarterly jobactive star ratings for each provider and there was plenty of good news for IMPACT.

jobactive is the government’s employment service to help Australians into work and match employers with the right staff. There are several providers, including IMPACT, in the Bundaberg region.

IMPACT scored five out of five stars for its performance in Childers, while its high-performing Bundaberg team also recorded an impressive four.

Five stars for IMPACT's Childers jobactive team

Looking to upskill? Check out our training courses.

Confidence in IMPACT

IMPACT’s jobactive recruitment consultant David Maxey-Fisher said the result should provide Childers jobseekers confidence in choosing IMPACT.

“It's no surprise we got this rating,” Mr Maxey-Fisher said.

“Childers is looked after by a caring, capable and thoroughly professional jobactive officer in Carol Watson.

“Carol looks after the whole of the Childers area by herself and its through her tenacity and hard work that she has been awarded top marks.

“It’s her ability to listen and her knowledge of the area that has led to this high-performance recognition.

“She knows the community like the back of her hand.”

Consistent quality

To receive five stars, a job provider must deliver sustained employment for jobseekers 30% above the national average – that means not just finding people jobs but finding them a lasting position with an employer.

Mr Maxey-Fisher said IMPACT’s consistently high performance was a team effort, though a considerable part of the recognition had to go to IMPACT’s Employment and Training General Manager, Paea Ruka.

“Paea has energised the team and given everyone the purpose and direction to enable us to reach these high-performance levels during the challenges of the Covid-era,” he said.

“Paea chose not to let team members go like some providers and gave them excellent support and guidance.

“Staff can only achieve these high standards if they're given the necessary support to do that.”

If you are an employer in the Bundaberg region looking for quality staff, give IMPACT a call on 0419 773 838.

NO wonder more jobseekers in the Bundaberg region are choosing IMPACT Community Services to help them find work.

The Australian Government’s Department of Employment, Skills, Family and Small Business has just released its latest quarterly jobactive star ratings for each provider and there was plenty of good news for IMPACT.

Our Bundaberg service scored a four-star rating – among the highest in the region - while our Childers office was a five out of five.

jobactive is the government’s employment service to help Australians into work and employers find the right staff. There are several providers in the Bundaberg region.

IMPACT’s Employment and Training General Manager Paea Ruka said the result gave local jobseekers confidence in choosing IMPACT.

Top marks for IMPACT'S jobactive service“This shows all jobseekers that we know what we’re doing and can provide the guidance and the support they need for the modern-day workforce,” Ms Ruka said.

She paid tribute to IMPACT’s team of talented jobactive staff who work tirelessly to deliver positive workplace outcomes.

“We’ve got an experienced team that is second to none,” Ms Ruka said.

“The team has worked really hard, in what have been challenging times due to the bushfires.  They really know what’s going on in the local labour market and have built trusting relationships with employers.

"Through jobactive, we create a personalised plan and connect you to a range of government initiatives to help you find work sooner."

IMPACT’s carefully tailored support includes:

IMPACT's jobactive is a member of CoAct.

To find out more call 4153 4233.

Top marks for IMPACT'S jobactive service

FOR about four months last year, Scott Feeney lived in a tent with his pregnant partner and their two young boys.

“There were times where I’d wake up and just cry because of the situation I was in,” Scott said as he reflected on the remarkable journey he’s been on to turn his life around.

Scott shares inspiring job journey after tent nightmare

The 34-year-old is now working full time in Bundaberg and recently celebrated an extra special Christmas with his young family.

He beamed as he talked about watching his young children open the presents he’d been able to afford because of his regular income.

“There was almost $1000 worth of presents for the children under that tree,” Scott said.

“Having a job, you can’t describe it, it’s the difference between living in a tent and having a home.

“When you’re on Centrelink and sitting there waiting for that $500 a fortnight, life is hard.”

Scott said the team at IMPACT Community Service’s jobactive program had enabled him to change his life.

“The team is so great, everyone just wants to help,” he said.

“They all bent over backwards to help me, they’re beautiful.

“I’m no good with computer skills, but they worked with me and helped me write up a resume.

“Without them I’d still be in that tent.”

Scott said he and his partner moved from NSW to Queensland early last year for a fresh start.

Family members had made the journey before them.

But the couple fell upon hard times as Scott struggled to secure work.

For about four months he said they lived in a tent in the Hervey Bay area, before someone suggested he move to Bundaberg for “work opportunities”.

“They told me there were plenty of jobs up this way,” Scott said.

“But once I got here, that didn’t seem to be the case.

“But the team at IMPACT helped me and I got a position as a process worker (at a Bundaberg farming facility) about four weeks after getting here.

“I was getting anywhere between 50 and 60 hours a week.”

He said his decision to register with the IMPACT team was crucial.

IMPACT is a high-performing jobactive provider in Bundaberg.

Due to the organisation’s extensive knowledge of the region’s labour market, it works to help unemployed people find work.

IMPACT jobactive is a member of CoAct.

If you would like to know more about what IMPACT offers call 4153 4233 or go to

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