Jacqueline & OCCE’s Blended Workforce Initiative

Meet Jacqueline.

Jacqueline has been working in the Document Management department at OC Connections Enterprises since September. She was referred to our enterprise by the newly founded employment provider, Mob Jobs – a support service for First Nations people searching for work around Victoria.

Through a referral from a previous colleague, Anita from Mob Jobs reached out to Jacqueline to help her apply, interview, and transition into her new job. Once Jacqueline met Athena and Nancy from OCCE, she knew our social enterprise was the right workplace for her.

“Usually when you go into a new place, you get nervous, but I had no nerves whatsoever. Even the interview… was just so comfortable, it made me feel like I was out having a cup of tea with friends.”

Since starting her role in administration, Jacqueline has quickly become part of a strong, diverse team. She looks forward to coming into work every day, and with ongoing encouragement from OCCE management and regular check-ins from Anita at Mob Jobs, she has everything she needs to feel stable and confident in her role.

“Her bright enthusiastic manner is a great addition to the team… Jacquie is testament to the success of OCC Enterprises Blended Work Force initiative.”

As part of the highly-skilled, hardworking Document Management team, Jacqueline works on scanning, interpreting, and inputting information from the Department of Justice into an online database.

Outside of OCCE, she is completing a post graduate certificate to become a First Nations Career Development Practitioner. When she graduates at the end of 2024, she will be one of a dozen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to be recognised with the newly created title – a huge achievement which will lead to new opportunities at OCCE and beyond.

The training is based on a traditional Aboriginal worldview, with spirituality, yarning and storytelling at the forefront. It’s a holistic approach to career counselling for First Nations people, incorporating community and culture into Western career development ideas.

Jacqueline has been learning a lot about her culture and community through the certificate. She’s a self-proclaimed “army brat” who shuffled from Queensland to Victoria when she was young and spent her formative years at boarding school. For most of her life, she felt disconnected from her culture, always wanting to engage fully but not knowing where to start.

Her children, now adults with families of their own, have had a huge impact on her connection to heritage, often passing on knowledge that they have gained from self-exploration and inviting Jacqueline to Indigenous events. In 2006, Jacqueline took part in a community dance at the Commonwealth Games with her children. She said it’s “a milestone I’ll never forget”. With the support of her daughter Maxine, she built new connections to her Indigenous heritage with pride and confidence.

Her father, a veteran of the Vietnam war, has tracked their family tree back to the 1800s in Queensland. Her family heritage is made of several Indigenous tribes from around Townsville and Brisbane: the Waka Waka, Gubbi Gubbi, and Kulilla mobs. She hopes to explore country herself in the coming years, to reconnect with the land and rebuild her sense of belonging.

“Family is important” says Jacqueline, and the relationships she has with her three kids are indicative of that. They’ve been incredibly supportive of her transition into OCCE, and her ongoing search to connect with community.

For Jacqueline, working at OCCE hasn’t felt like a transition into a ‘blended workplace’ because diversity is part of our very core. OCCE is, naturally, a welcoming and open space, full of personable, interesting people with different life experiences, where employees can be themselves. The ‘blended’ workforce of OCCE allows employees to find comfortability and security within variety, and encourages employees to work and connect in ways that suit them.

Fitting into the team structure has been a breeze for Jacqueline, and employees at OCCE have been curious to learn more about her as a newcomer with professional experience and lots of stories to tell.

It’s “really wonderful to have all the support around, especially after going through a bad patch when I was unemployed. It’s been absolutely wonderful,” Jacqueline commented.

Thank you to Jacqueline for chatting with us about the transition into her new role, the ongoing support from Mob Jobs, and her growing connection to First Nations culture.

We can’t wait to hear about Jacqueline’s future graduation and career development.