McAuley Works Pays Off

Eighty-six women have accessed McAuley Works’ jobs-ready and accredited vocational training programs in the past year. This service, which receives no government funding, is not only a vital part of McAuley Community Services for Women’s holistic approach to caring for women, it also saves the Australian taxpayer a great deal of money.

Since 2010, when McAuley Works was founded, taxpayers have been saved an annual $1 million as a result of 45 women no longer receiving Centrelink payments. It costs $5,000 to put a woman through the McAuley Works program, compared to the Government-funded Jobs Services program which costs $9,000 a person. The McAuley Works program, funded totally through the community, was established because no other job programs were able to meet the needs of the women who want to work, but need support to be able to do so.

Women are referred to the program through McAuley Care and McAuley House as well as from other Victorian agencies.

Using a case management model, McAuley Works provides intensive, tailored services to each woman it supports, including post-employment assistance, with the single aim of helping women secure good jobs or to access training that will help themselves and their families financially.

Of the 86 women who have accessed McAuley Works in the past year, our staff have helped 73 women to maintain employment and 13 gain jobs. Thirty-seven of these women were homeless or at risk of homelessness, 16 had experienced family violence and 16 had a mental health or disability issue. Since McAuley Works began in 2010, 201 women have been supported and more than 134 have found jobs.

Our work is a major game changer for each woman who, until coming to McAuley Works, did not have the confidence to apply for a job or training course.
While the statistics and cost savings to the community are impressive, it is the women’s’ stories that showcase the importance of the program.


Aida who came first to McAuley Care and then McAuley House has worked closely with McAuley Works staff. “It was the turning point for me,” she says.

Thanks to McAuley’s holistic program of providing safe housing, access to training with Anthea Slade from McAuley Works and becoming work ready, Aida worked in a catering business and has also completed a business course.

Aida is now interested in changing careers from catering to childcare. She is no longer afraid and feels she has regained her confidence and personality – characteristics that were lost after years of abuse.

Read Aida’s story


Peta, with support from McAuley Works’ staff member Anthea Slade, is now focussed on becoming ‘work ready’, but she is also developing life skills and a sense of resilience to be able to better manage her life. She has completed Certificate 1 in Vocational Preparation, volunteers at her child’s school in the art room, works as an extra, studies, and is planning a career. But for now Peta is looking for a job that will help sustain her and her child and allow her to live independently.
“One of the most important things about McAuley Works is that I have learnt to believe in myself. They have helped me have faith in the future.”

Read Peta’s story.