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How social housing and a hospitality traineeship changed Jadene's life.

Born and raised in the Northern Territory, Jadene moved to Brisbane to complete a course. Like many young people, Jadene realised that her initial career goal was not the right one for her.

At the time Jadene was living in shared accommodation that was not necessarily secure or conducive to study, and she was fortunate to become one of the first tenants in the new social housing endeavour, Brisbane Common Ground.

Unsure of what her dream career might be but determined to ensure that she could secure steady, full-time employment in her future, Jadene commenced a university associate degree in social science as an external student. Engaging in external study, removed from the supportive environment of a classroom and peers proved challenging but Jadene persisted, unsure of what other options might still deliver solid employment prospects.

As a tenant of Brisbane Common Ground, Jadene received a flyer in her mailbox in October 2017 advertising a new vocational program Micah Projects would be running. Her interest was piqued when she saw the program would allow people to complete both a Certificate II in Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways and a Certificate II in Hospitality – Café and Barista.

Jadene immediately reached out to team member Annette to discuss the program. She quickly decided to defer from her university studies, knowing she could always return later, in favour of trying a hands-on course that could potentially deliver more immediate employment opportunities. This was particularly important to her due to her desire to return to the Northern Territory.

Within weeks of receiving the flyer, Jadene had commenced classes and was quickly convinced she had made the right decision.

“I didn’t quite know what to expect, but I was really happy as soon as the course started.

“Everyone was so friendly and supportive, especially the trainers. It was still study, but we could have a laugh. I realised I’m much more suited to learning in a classroom environment.

“Unlike university the course was free, close by, and would give me a qualification in a few months, not years. Micah even helped us with transport to class. They don’t care about how old you are or anything else, they just really want you to succeed.”

Without this course I never would have applied. And without the skills I learned from class I wouldn’t have been prepared for the interviews. Micah was there for me when I moved into Brisbane Common Ground. And now, in just three months, this course has changed my life.


Within weeks of starting the program, and with the encouragement of the trainers, Jadene had applied for a traineeship-to-employment role with an award-winning tourism and resort management company.

“My trainer saw me looking at the website for applicants. I still wasn’t sure if I should apply, but she told me I absolutely should.

“It was only the week before we’d been learning how to write resumes and practising mock job interviews. Those skills, along with the trainers encouragement gave me the confidence to apply and to know what to do in the interviews.”

Jadene progressed through several interview rounds, eventually progressing to a one-on-one phone interview with the hotel manager for a 5-star hotel at Uluru. Happily, she was offered a 4-week hospitality traineeship leading straight into a full-time job in the hotel reception.

“I couldn’t believe it at first.

“In October, I got a flyer in the mail and by January I was completing my course and being offered a job in a 5-star hotel in the Northern Territory.

“It’s like a dream. I’m about to live in my happy place in a good environment, with great people, doing work I’m excited about, having a good job, and hopefully I’ll get the chance to travel.

“I feel like a different person since I started the course. I’ve grown. The people encouraged me to look at myself a different way. They made me stop and think – Yes, I’m articulate. Yes, I can do it.

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