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The rewarding career where you can truly move people

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When Julie Trueman moved to Canberra from Queensland four years ago, she was looking for a job.

She saw a role advertised as a driver for Communities@Work and figured she liked driving and talking to people, so it might suit her well.

She didn’t know it at the time, but from that application, she’s not only found a role she loves, but a role where she can build relationships, develop her skills, progress her career, and also make a real difference in the community.

Julie initially worked as a driver for Communites@Work’s transport service, which provides door-to-door transport for approved clients for a small fee. The service acts as a lifeline for many people, assisting them in maintaining independence, confidence and social connections by transporting them to medical appointments, social and community activities and shopping centres.

Julie Trueman and Steve Ward.

She loved being out and about in the community every day, chatting to transport clients and building relationships. After a few years, Julie was looking for more of a challenge but was keen to stay within the organisation, so expressed her interest in moving up.

A role as Transport Facilitator came up, based in the office, and after interviewing for the position, Julie was promoted. Her role now involved taking bookings over the phone, registering new clients for the program, and allocating clients to vehicles.

Even though she’s no longer out on the road dealing with transport clients face-to-face, she still builds strong relationships from the office, and loves knowing she’s making a real difference to people’s lives.

“You build relationships over the phone. You may never see the clients, but you talk to them and find out what’s going on in their lives,” she said.

“Because of COVID, we do more phone calls, and we’re always making sure people are okay and asking if they need anything like food. And then if they do need something, we point them in the right direction.”

For Steve Ward, moving to a role in the transport team at Communities@Work has not only meant finally working in a nine-to-five role, but it has also given him the leadership experience he was looking for.

His background was predominantly working in operations and community-based roles with the army, the Australian Search and Rescue Centre, and a short stint working for the Canberra Light Rail, which was all shift work.

Steve Ward.

He joined Communities@Work 10 months ago as the Transport Coordinator, and is based in the office ensuring the transport program runs smoothly and managing the transport team.

“I was a bit nervous coming from operational roles into a community program. But in my first few days, I just felt so comfortable. I knew this was where I wanted to be.”

“It’s nice to walk in somewhere and just feel welcomed and know that you’re going to want to spend a lot of time here.”

Julie and Steve at the Communities@Work offices.

Steve said he has found Communities@Work to be an incredibly supportive environment, with a strong focus on educating and developing staff.

“It’s my first full-time leadership role, and it’s an excellent place to start out because I’ve got a team of 25 to supervise. So that’s really helping me on my progression to being a leader, which is what I’ve always wanted,” he said.

“And it’s good work as well. Our clients speak really highly of us, and that’s something I’m really proud of.”


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