It’s incredible the difference a friendly face can make.

Taylor had accessed job providers and similar agencies over several years and never had a satisfactory experience. As she walked into Bamara’s office in Kempsey to sign up for the ParentsNext program, an Australian Government initiative, her hopes were not high.

And then she saw Bamara Support Mentor, Rachel.

Not only did Rachel provide a friendly face, but it was also a familiar face.

“I thought, I know her!” Taylor recalls. “Rachel had been a teacher at my school when I first moved to Kempsey from Sydney. As soon as I saw her, I was not so nervous.

“Rachel is great to me. She explains everything carefully, goes through everything I need to think about to make sure I am properly prepared, and really cares.

“She isn’t only interested in getting me back to work, but also about how I’m going as a person. I opened up a lot to her, and she helped me overcome my insecurities about getting into the workforce.

“She helped me with getting a counsellor to talk about some things to make sure I keep my mental state good. It is because of her and Bamara that I have found the confidence in myself to be able to work.”

Taylor is a mum with children aged two and four. The Covid-related restrictions have been tough on everyone, but especially people with young kids.

Despite this, Taylor is about to start work in traffic management. Bamara helped her with a laptop, White Card and traffic guidance officer training, safety clothing, boots and equipment and a transceiver radio for employment.

The world of hi-vis and managing traffic flow is a long way from Taylor’s previous training, which had her on track for a Certificate III in Dental Assisting. Having completed a work placement with a local dentist, Taylor is still interested in nursing or dental assistant work in the future.

“I want to do whatever it takes to keep a roof over my family’s head, so the best thing at the moment was to train to become a PT Traffic Guidance Officer,” Taylor says.

When she started at Bamara she aimed to get her provisional driver’s licence to get to and from work and push towards further qualifications. She is not ruling out further study, but her priority at the moment is a secure income and proving herself in the world of work.

“She persevered through social and community factors that impacted progress, like bushfires, Covid, floods and more,” says Taylor’s Support Mentor, Rachel.

“She has dealt with more than her fair share of setbacks and always comes out the other side smiling and positive. I think she is amazing. Her kids, family and future workmates are very lucky to have her.”