IntoJobs’ Kirsty Campbell has been named a finalist in the National Employment Services Association Awards for Excellence.
The proud First Nations woman has been recognised for her dedication and commitment helping Mackay job seekers into employment, and she credits her own experience as a job seeker as one of the secrets of her success.
Since being implemented in 2004, the NESA Awards for Excellence highlights the impact of employment services in partnership with employers and participants to improving the economic and social well-being of individuals, families and communities through employment inclusion. The awards also recognise employment services professionals who demonstrate excellence in the supporting vulnerable people into work.
Having experienced the challenges of finding employment firsthand, Kirsty brings a unique perspective and empathy to her role. Her personal experience as a job seeker has fuelled her passion for assisting others in their job search, and she has consistently gone above and beyond to support jobseekers in the Mackay community, “Every day when I go home, I sleep well because I know that I just action things straight away for people because I’ve had a bad experience,” Kirsty said.
After leaving a domestic violence situation in 2014, Kirsty moved from her home town with her two young boys, determined to create a safe and stable life for her sons in South East Queensland.
She registered with a job services provider but found it wasn’t giving her the support she needed to move forward. Turning to study to help her increase her employment opportunities she undertook a Certificate III in Business and sought out work experience with Gympie Regional Council, which led to a paid position as the Assistant to the Economic Development Manager. Kirsty thrived with the opportunity to learn and grow. At the end of this contract Kirsty saw a position as an Employment Consultant advertised. She reflected on her own journey with her provider, her lived experience, and her desire to help others, and applied for the role.
10 years later, Kirsty has helped more than 7000 people find employment. She joined IntoJobs (Part of the IntoWork Group) as a Mobile Employment Consultant in Mackay in July 2022 when the organisation began its Workforce Australia contract in the region, “I love IntoJobs’ mobile servicing because it’s what I’ve always wanted to do. I get to leave the office and be more involved with participants where they need me. You get a lot more in the car out of people when you’re driving with them to an appointment, so I think I’m good at breaking down the barriers straight away and just telling them that things will be okay,” she said.
Most recently she was recognised as IntoJobs’ top performing Consultant achieving the highest number of job placements across the organisation. While Kirsty is an outstanding generalist Employment Consultant, she has a particular passion for supporting First Nations participants. In the first 12 months working at IntoJobs, she placed 64 participant into roles with 37.5 per cent of those being First Nations participants.
IntoJobs CEO Steve Wyborn said Kirsty’s dedication and commitment to her clients have not gone unnoticed, “Many of Kirsty’s participants face multiple barriers to employment which may include things such as a lack of experience or skills, insecure housing, transport issues, health issues, long term unemployment, substance use, learning difficulties, lack of family or community support,” he said.
“Kirsty spends time getting to know the individuals and understand where they are at on their journey, and what support they need to be empowered to move to the next stage. She works with them to co-create their personal plan to move forward. She is skilled in finding a balance between providing support to participants but ensuring they know that they are in control of their own destiny at all times. It is so obvious to all that Kirsty is passionate about her job and in particular improving people’s lives with work. Kirsty has a warm and nonjudgmental approach and goes above and beyond to assist people gain meaningful employment.”
While she was shocked about her nomination, Kirsty said she is very proud of her achievement, “People said when I was young, you got to find a job that you love and I always thought that was a joke because you don’t love your work. But I love my work. I go home every day and I’m happy with how I’ve helped others. Even if I don’t win, I’m really excited to have been nominated in the awards,” she said.
Kirsty is up against a high calibre of nominees in the Employment of the Year category. Winners will be announced at the NESA Awards for Excellence on Wednesday, 11th of October in Brisbane.