Photo (left to right): Sky with her Bamara Support Mentor, Natasha

A three hour round trip to work might feel daunting for most, but for Sky, a single mother to three young kids who hail from Quirindi,  this is a moment in her day where she can proudly reflect on all she’s achieved in the past few months.

When Sky was referred to Bamara as a participant of the ParentsNext program at the beginning of 2021, she teamed up with her Tamworth based Support Mentor, Natasha.

“From the moment I began helping Sky, it was clear straight away that she was pretty shy, lacking confidence in her ability and the steps she needed to gain to gain sustainable employment – I would say that she definitely seemed a little lost at the time,” said Natasha.

Together they immediately began the groundwork to map out how Sky would reach her immediate goal of gaining sustainable employment.

It was Sky’s goal when she came to Bamara to also get her foot firmly in the door of the mining industry, which is synonymous with the rich history of the Liverpool Plains area.

Around the same time, Sky had been picking up occasional shifts in hospitality, whilst also studying towards a Bachelor of Nursing to one day fulfil her career goal of becoming a Paramedic.

Through their initial appointments together, they then mapped out the steps needed to prepare Sky for employment, such as mentoring and career advice from Natasha to begin the job application process.

What also appeared to work in Sky’s favour, was that her Support Mentor, Natasha, was also able to identify how they could reach these goals, having experienced a similar pathway to employment herself.

“I feel that by having previous experience in emergency services in the mines myself, I was able to work with Sky and nudge her a little bit harder to bring through that confidence so that she could effectively work towards realising and achieving her study and employment goals.

“And here she is, showing everyone that she can now do this,” says Natasha.

Through our services for the ParentsNext program, Bamara helps eligible parents plan and prepare for employment by the time their children go to school. We achieve this by assisting participants in developing a pathway to achieve their employment or education goals and linking them to the local community’s services and activities.

Sky applied extensively for job opportunities across the New England and North West area, experiencing several initial knockbacks and would often relay the feedback and her setbacks to her Support Mentor.

With the assistance of her Support Mentor, Sky was able to fine-tune and continuously work to update her Resume and Cover Letter to ensure she was using the right keywords and that it was relevant to the jobs she was applying for, which only seemed to strengthen her motivation and confidence further to keep at it and keep applying.

Her persistence recently landed her a job in February 2021, doing a job she loves with her life heading in the right direction. The future now looks much brighter for Sky, but it has taken sheer dedication and hard work along the way.

“I had always wanted to be a part of the mining industry, and I am grateful for Bamara’s help through constant phone appointments and mentoring from my Support Mentor Natasha,” says Sky.

Sky has a productive working week, putting in busy shifts Monday to Friday where she works in freight operations on several local mine sites. Her primary duties include store stocking and despatch, supporting warehousing and logistical efforts, and even getting behind the wheel as a truck driver for deliveries from the warehouse.

Sky credits the team at Bamara, who have supported her along the way. The mentoring, pre-employment training and ongoing support and contact with her Support Mentor, gives added peace of mind for Sky, as she settles into her new role.

“I am grateful for Bamara for supplying me with work clothes to start my new job, and also for supporting my needs while I have been looking for work,” says Sky.

Most importantly, for Sky and her family, she hopes to be an inspiring and guiding example of success for her children, demonstrating that dreams are achievable if you put in a little hard work and believe in yourself.