Nuna knew the key to giving herself the flexibility to work in Aged Care centres was to have a transport solution – she wanted to get her licence, work towards getting a car and give herself the independence to go for jobs she really wanted.

An Uyghur woman from China, seeking asylum in Australia, Nuna was living on a bridging visa and had limited access to social services support. But the team at The Salvation Army’s EPlus Local was determined to help her round out her skills and see her thriving in a rewarding role she would also enjoy.

EPlus Local – a specialist service provided by The Salvation Army and Employment Plus – takes a very holistic approach to unique groups of job seekers (like asylum seekers) who often have complex social issues to work through on their journey to gaining employment.

Nuna was first referred to EPlus Local from another community service provider, and her EPlus Local Humanitarian Job Coach, Nibras Jasim, immediately referred her to TSA’s Drive for Life program.

Despite Nuna’s lack of experience, James from Drive for Life was able to provide her with free driving lessons and a vehicle to learn in. She passed her driving test the first time around!

Nuna also achieved a Certificate III qualification in Individual Support Care as she was keen to work in a role looking after others. She quickly started hunting for work and found the perfect role at a nursing home, which was just a short, 20min drive from home.

“Many of these job seekers have fled scenes of unimaginable trauma and displacement. There are language barriers, cultural differences and many things we take for granted – family networks, extensive social support, Centrelink funding – just aren’t available for asylum seekers,” says Nibras.

“What gives me such great joy in Nuna’s story is how happy and grateful she is for her opportunities, how quickly she took up the offer to get her licence, to find a job and how her new found freedom has provided her a chance to improve her quality of life.

“Of course, she had challenges when she started in her new role – there’s a lot to learn in most new jobs – but she tells us she is so happy and taking as many double shifts as she can. Her drive to work is less than 20mins, so it’s great for her to continue to build her road skills and also meet the licence requirements she needed for a job in Aged Care.

“It’s incredibly heart-warming to see her grow both independence and confidence.”