One of the biggest responsibilities of being a parent is knowing that your children are watching and learning from what you do, every day.

Charmaine has six daughters. Five of them – aged fourteen to two – live with her in Kempsey.

They observe the way Charmaine interacts with the world and learn what it means to grow up as a strong Aboriginal woman. The children have always known that their mother is a hard worker within the home. Now they see her applying her work ethic and enthusiasm to her new job in the disability sector.

Charmaine credits Bamara and the ParentsNext program with helping her shift into regular paid employment.

“I was referred to ParentsNext at the end of 2018 and they have been really good,” Charmaine says.

“I have got a lot from the short courses and the one-day courses and my Case Manager is great. They helped me write a resume and when a job came up, they organised for me to have an interview the next morning.

“I did the interview, got the job and now work for 60 hours a fortnight. I have a happy-go-lucky personality and get on well with all the clients.”

Charmaine’s mature worldview and hard-won wisdom made her a great candidate for employment. These attributes have also shone through in her time with ParentsNext.

“I had my first child when I was fifteen and I am thirty-four now, so I have some life experience,” she says.

Charmaine also had a strong academic background, with qualifications in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health, Community Services, and Home & Community Care. ParentsNext supported Charmaine to complete a Certificate II in Business, and embark on a Certificate III in business administration through TAFE.

She attended the Bamara Dress for Success course and undertook a First Aid course. Bamara also provided financial assistance in Charmaine’s transition to employment, purchasing appropriate clothing and footwear for her new position.

Life is busier than ever, but Charmaine continues to find time to support her daughters’ league tag endeavours with the Kempsey Dragons, as well as following the fortunes of the Rabbitohs in the NRL.

She is a great example of a ParentsNext success story, as well as a staunch advocate for the program.

She has spoken to friends about Bamara, and strongly encouraged her sister to get involved and achieve her own employment goals.

Charmaine is not just a role model for her daughters, but for all young women throughout the Kempsey region.