Employment support

Our employment support program McAuley Works operates across Victoria, helping women who have experienced family violence, homelessness or mental health issues to find, and maintain, employment. 

Economic independence, and the increased confidence and self-esteem that come from workplace participation, play a vital role in preventing women from returning to unsafe and violent relationships.

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One hundred and fifty one women participated in the program in 2017/18. Two hundred and four have registered for support since its inception.

From the time the program commenced in January 2017, 42 women have been placed in employment —an exceptional outcome given the serious challenges and barriers many are facing to gaining work.

Seventy five per cent of the women over that timeframe were known to have experienced family violence. Forty three women were in situations where the family violence was regarded as ‘critical’ – meaning the woman was still dealing with an imminent and immediate threat of violence.

Many women were facing multiple challenges in getting work. In 2017/18, seventeen of the women we worked with had experienced homelessness, and of these, seven did not speak English as their first language.

For more information about McAuley Works employment support  please contact Justine Connelly on 0409 934 335 or email jconnelly@mcauleycsw.org.au.

McAuley Works is a program of Jobs Victoria.

Amber’s story

'I wanted my kids to see me working'

Amber had left school in year eight, and been through many struggles as a young mum. Being supported with the skills to find work brought her increased self-esteem and confidence.

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‘A life back on track’: Akanke’s story

'I knew I wasn't doing this by myself'

A young African-born woman stumbled upon McAuley House when she came to Melbourne, lost and alone and relying on couch-surfing for accommodation. She was supported to find work as an interpreter and says McAuley helped her get her life back on track.

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Employment is a pathway out of family violence: our submission

Our submission to a Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into disadvantaged jobseekers explained that financial independence helps women leave violent relationships

There are countless immediate, and longer-term, benefits for the community when women experiencing family violence gain employment.

Foremost of these is that the economic independence and financial security associated with work can be a springboard for leaving a violent relationship.

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Feeling ‘blessed’: how a new job led to a new beginning

It’s a common enough workplace event – sharing a birthday cake with office colleagues, but it signified something more for Amrita.

‘In my first meetings with her she was still in a state of fear and anguish. She’d lived in refuges and there had been countless intervention order breaches. She also had two young children and was still traumatized and uncertain about what the future could bring.' With our support Amrita was able to get a new job and begin to build a new life free from the constant threat of violence.

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Snapshot of McAuley Works employment support in 2018/2019

women took part

placements since program began

placements last year