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Rebecca works her way to top three in Australia.

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Federal Member for Wannon

Hamilton Office 190 Gray St, HAMILTON VIC 3300 Warrnambool Office 73 Kepler St WARRNAMBOOL VIC 3280 Freecall 1300 131 692 E W

14 June 2007


Timboon’s Rebecca Savage has been recognised as one of Australia’s top three Work for the Dole participants at an awards ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra.

Federal Member for Wannon, David Hawker, congratulated Rebecca, saying that she is a great example of how the Work for the Dole programme has been benefiting communities and job seekers for the past ten years.

“This year’s Work for the Dole Awards ceremony was particularly significant as it was also celebrating 10 successful years of the programme,” Mr Hawker said.

“To have a local participant recognised as one of the top three participants in Australia is just fantastic, and also reflects the quality of the local services who deliver the Work for the Dole programme in Western Victoria.”

Mr Hawker said Rebecca has been participating in the St Laurence Community Services - Supporting the South West Community project, where she has been placed with the Cobden Adult Day Centre, part of the Timboon and District Health Service.

“Rebecca has been working as a Day Centre Volunteer and has gained an insight into what it would be like to be employed in that field. She has developed exceptional interpersonal skills, such as communicating effectively with the elderly clients and interacting with them in a professional manner. She has really blossomed in this role and is now looking at using her training credits to undertake Certificate III in Aged Care and Certificate III in Home and Community Care courses,” he said.

“Work for the Dole has given Rebecca the opportunity to access real work experience in an area of work that might not have previously been available to her. It has enabled her to gain skills, increase confidence and self esteem, and I understand Rebecca has found the work to be very rewarding whilst challenging and diverse.

“Cobden Adult Day Centre staff say she has adapted really well to the role and has a natural instinct to gauge the client’s needs, as well as gaining an insight into particular job roles and responsibilities.”

Rebecca’s supervisor, Renae Orr, described Rebecca as a forward thinker.

“She has a lot to contribute to the planning of activities and some of her ideas have been taken on board such as a family day for clients at the Centre,” Ms Orr said.

Staff and clients at Cobden Adult Day Care have also seen a turn around in Rebecca’s confidence and believe that she has found her niche in Aged Care work.

“Everyone involved in Rebecca’s placement believed she was an outstanding choice for the Work for the Dole Best Participant nomination because she has really come along way during her time on the project. Initially she was very anxious and nervous about undertaking the placement, but she quickly found confidence and began to believe in her abilities again. She has also gone from not knowing what she wanted to do with her life to looking at her career options and courses in Aged Care,” Mr Hawker said.

Rebecca speaks very highly of her experience with Work for the Dole and her involvement with Cobden Adult Day Care.

“This project has made me aware of what it is like to work with elderly citizens and I have come to realise that it is what I want to do as a career,” Rebecca said.

“I didn’t think that by doing this project I would find so much enjoyment and it is really nice to be able to do something that is really rewarding and I feel like I am giving something back to the community. The staff and clients at the centre have made me feel really welcome and I have a real sense of belonging and take pride in the assistance I give to the Day Centre staff and clients.

“I wake up in the morning and feel excited about going to the project and having a purpose. As a whole this experience has changed my life by giving me confidence to know that I can do the work and has given me a happier outlook on life,” she said.

Please find attached a photograph of Rebecca Savage (second from right) with (L-R) Mr Hawker, Renae Orr from St Laurence, and Sandra Mugavin from Timboon and District Health Care Service at the awards ceremony in the Great Hall at Parliament House, Canberra.

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Media contact: Jane Templeton (02) 6277 4006