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News from AMES Australia

3 February 20210 comments

AMES, 7Eleven honoured in corporate giving award

AMES Australia and corporate partner 7Eleven have won a prestigious corporate giving award.

The partnership, which sees 7Eleven staff mentor AMES Australia jobseeker clients, won the ‘Best Pro Bono/Workplace Volunteering Bronze Award’ at the 2020 Workplace Giving Excellence Awards.

The awards recognise best practice in giving programs and serve to advocate for giving at work as the most effective way for working Australians to support charity.

AMES Australia Senior Manager Development and Innovation Lucia Haliburton said the award was a result of AMES mutually valuable relationship with 7Eleven.

“I want to thank everyone at 7Eleven involved in this,” Lucia said.

“We are delighted to receive the award and we are proud of our part in a program that sees one million Australians donating to charities through workplace giving,” she said

This is the fifth year the Awards ceremony has been held by industry body, Workplace Giving Australia, with broad support from across the business and charity sectors. The Awards were judged by a prestigious panel of independent experts from across Australia. 

Workplace Giving Australia thanked AMES and 7Eleven for entering awards and for sharing our success stories.


AMES volunteers celebrate achievements of 2020

The AMES Australia 2020 Volunteer End of Year Celebration was held recently to thank volunteers and celebrate the year’s achievements.

Held via Zoom on December 16, the event started with AMES CEO Cath Scarth providing some updates on how AMES Australia was travelling in 2020 and then thanking volunteers for their wonderful contribution though out the year. 

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, AMES volunteers have continued to generously give their time and energy to support our staff and clients.

During the event, the volunteers were given a presentation of the highlights of 2020 and the achievements and impacts they made to AMES’ clients. After that, the volunteers were sent to breakout rooms to share their experience during the lockdown. Then, they played a trivia game at the end. 

“It was so much fun and a lot of laughs. The biggest joy of this event was two volunteers, who lost contact with each other for over 20 years, reconnected when they saw and recognised each other in one of the breakout rooms,” said AMES Volunteer Recruitment and Training Coordinator Koonie Karinsen. 

Highlight of volunteers’ achievements in 2020 were: Professional Mentors supporting more than 80 AMES Skilled Professionals in their quest for professional jobs in Australia – of this year’s cohort, 30 are working, most of them in their field of expertise; Volunteer Tutors contributing a minimum of 1,200 hours to support students online individually and in groups with English Tutoring; Youth Mentors supporting 36 young people with education and employment pathways, English and VCE subjects tutoring, and; the Multicultural Hub running two English conversation sessions via Zoom, with approximately 15 people benefitting from each of these sessions.

Highlights of volunteering in the Settlement Program included: 44 clients supported to use public transport and access services in the community before COVID restrictions came in; 40 clients received English tutoring support; 85 clients received a welfare check phone calls; 30 clients were supported to write a resume and/or prepare for work; 44 clients received support with  one-off tasks, such filling in an application form or registering with the library, and; 83 clients received material aid support delivered by volunteers.

Staff volunteers and client have all given positive feedback about AMES volunteering programs.


AMES IPP program achieves significant milestones

An AMES Australia Individualised Pathway Plan (IPP) client and the program itself have recently achieved some significant milestones.

Burundian refugee Kevin Niyonsaba was one the first IPP clients to gain employment after taking up the mentoring program; and has now achieved 26 weeks of work.

After arriving in Australia in September 2019, Kevin was supported by staff at AMES Dallas Hub, including Case Manager Saloney Shah who referred him to the IPP when he expressed his keenness and determination to find work.

 After a lot of hard work completing several courses, Kevin landed a job.

 He was assisted to get an early activation to Jobactive services by IPP Senior Officer Madona Awad and linked to AMES Employment at Broadmeadows.​

Kevin then took part in the Refugee Mentoring Program consisting of an individualised intensive mentoring program for refugee clients to assist with career planning and also to identify gaps between employer expectations and the client’s current competencies.

The program also assists newly arrived refugees in learning how to apply their skills and experience in the workplace, find opportunities to upskill or reskill in the Australian Labour market and understand occupational health and safety in the workplace.

Kevin showed great enthusiasm and participated in ACFE training course ‘We Are All Customers’ through AMES education. He was then referred by Madona to a vacancy at Cornerstone Processing and participated in a Pre-Employment Program which he passed with flying colours securing employment as a process worker.

“His dedication to the process of securing a job was clearly demonstrated when he was called to work for his first shift in May at 9:15pm to start work at 10:30pm,” Madona said.

More than 100 AMES Australia IPP clients were supported to find work during the COVID-19 lockdown in Melbourne. For many of these people, the program has helped them secure the all-important first job in Australia which helps them further develop their English, achieve financial independence and a better understanding of Australian workplace culture.

Dozens more have been guided on to educational and training pathways through the program.