Zoe's Story

Zoe registered with GSP Albany in April 2017.  Zoe has considerable barriers to maintaining employment including physical limitations and lack of transport.

Zoe had a casual cleaning position with a local motel, after injuring herself at work she was forced to have time off this affected her financially and emotionally as she struggled to support herself on her NSA.

Once Zoe’s back had improved she advised the employer she could return to work, her employer advised her they had no shifts for her at that time and shortly after told Zoe she was to much of a liability for their business.

GSP immediately started to look for alternative employment for Zoe and managed to get her an opportunity as a Bus Warden with Loves Bus Services. This  position provides her with 15 hours a week of non physical employment and the  primary school she works at is less than a 5 min walk from where she lives.

Zoe is really happy with her new role and  has thanked the GSP team for all their help. Her employer is also really happy with Zoe and her work.

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Michael's Story

Michael joined GSP in August 2017 and due to his previous employment positions and experience, Michael and EC worked together looking into support worker roles. Michael had mentioned that he occasionally buys/sells antiques. Michael is an avid fisherman and also enjoys travelling and the beach.

EC and Michael attempted to gain roles within the community support sector, with very little success. Shortly after, Michael identified the job at Mister Money as a sales assistant. As it is a second-hand store Michael identified that it would be a good opportunity to use the knowledge he has regarding antiques and fishing, within the shop environment.

Michael and EC went through the requirements of the position updating his resume to reflect his customer service experience. Following this, we approached Mister Money’s manager Mick Whittingthstall giving him a copy of his resume. Mick was impressed with Michael’s knowledge and both spoke at length with Mick giving Michael a rough idea of his expectations and the needs of the position.

Shortly after, Michael was offered the position of Part Time Sales Assistant. Michael was extremely happy and is now working 24+ hours a week, suiting him perfectly. Michael commented that this not only restored his confidence in gaining meaningful employment, but this employment has opened more doors which he felt were previously closed to him.

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Cameron's Story

Cameron presented to GSP in August 2015 although already working, Cameron was not meeting his benchmark hours.  Within a few months after commencing with GSP, Cameron’s work hours had gradually declined to the point where he needed to look for alternative employment.  Cameron initially expressed an interest in working within the accounting field either as a book-keeper or financial advisor.  He soon began exploring his options and settled on applying for the Army Reserves to complete his study.  Cameron pursued this avenue with the assistance of his Employment Coordinator for many months, but unfortunately it did not result in his desired outcome.

Cameron had considered a number of different options for returning to work, some alternative avenues included; self-employment as a window cleaner and bar tending.  With this in mind, Great Southern Personnel assisted Cameron with his business set up and advertising, producing flyers and skills assessment, and also paid for Cameron to complete his RSA Certificate.

Dale, Cameron’s Employment Coordinator worked tirelessly with Cameron over the coming months to gain either a work experience placement, or work trial in Bar Tending and assisted Cameron with getting his window cleaning business operational.  Cameron completed work experience at the Bunbury Trotting Club, where he expanded his skill set in Bar Tending and Customer Service.  Cameron also gained some window cleaning work through his own advertising.

In December 2017 Cameron was presented with an opportunity to participate in a Government Initiative - AccessAbility Day.  AccessAbility Day primary aim was to allow employers to connect with people with a disability and see their potential in the workplace, while candidates were able to experience varying industries in a work setting.  Cameron completed a day’s work experience at Australind Mobile Mechanics on the 3rd of December, where the employers were very impressed with his enthusiasm.  After negotiations with Cameron’s Employment Coordinator, Cameron was then offered a further 4 weeks work experience to commence in January 2018.  Cameron successfully completed his work experience, and was offered a paid position meeting his benchmark hours.  Cameron is very happy with his work placement and looks forward to gaining new skills in the Automotive Industry.

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Jess's Story

Jess commenced her journey with GSP in January 2016 when she came to her first appointment, with her Mum as support, to meet her new employment coordinator Siobhain. Although Jess was extremely quiet and let her Mum do most of the talking for her she was adamant from the very beginning she wanted to become a hairdresser. Jess had attempted some units of Cert II Hairdressing through VET at Mt Barker High School and had done a small amount of work experience in two local salons. Jess’s anxiety at the time was such that she couldn’t manage the study or work experience and had made the decision to leave school before seeking the assistance from GSP.

Siobhain recognised quickly through regular appointments with Jess that her passion for hairdressing was genuine and as such contacted Hairscope by Marlene to see if Jess would be able to come into the salon for some unpaid work experience to which she agreed. Jess was extremely excited about the opportunity however was unsure she would be able to manage the work due to her extreme anxiety. Siobhain met Jess on the first day of work experience and stayed in the salon to offer support until she felt comfortable enough to stay on her own. After 4wks of work experience Marlene offered Jess casual employment as Salon Assistant where her main tasks were washing and applying treatments to clients hair, blowdrying and straightening hair, making client appointments and general cleaning of salon. Several months passed and Jess’s confidence and abilities grew and grew in the salon with many clients complimenting her and requesting treatments to be completed by her. Jess decided she was now ready to advance her career and wanted to start applying for hair dressing apprenticeships. Unfortunately at the time Marlene’s salon wasn’t able to take her on for the amount of hours required so with the help of Siobhain, Jess began hitting the pavement approaching salons in Albany for apprenticeship positions. Whilst Jess received great feedback from the salons in town every employer she met with already had taken on first year apprentices and recommended she come back the following year. Jess however was not deterred and continued on her mission to secure an apprenticeship and that determination paid off. Marlene, concerned at the prospect of losing Jess to another salon, spoke with her accountant again who confirmed the business would be able to afford to take on first year apprentice at the beginning of 2017.

Jess is now half way through her first year as an apprentice hairdresser and loving every bit of it. She has passed all of her tafe components to date and no longer has anxiety in the workplace or at Tafe. Jess is now working 30hrs a week and has her own dedicated clients. She is now able to successfully colour hair, give basic trims, do updo’s for special occasions and is well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming a fully qualified Hairdresser. WAY TO GO JESS!!!

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Kim's Story

Kim has been a long term, valued client to Great Southern Personnel, starting employment with GSP Workforce in 1995, gardening for our ECU and CSBP sites. In 1997 Kim moved into trolley collection under workforce at our Woolworths Lockyer Avenue site where he continued to show his dedication and reliability to his work. At the beginning of 2016 Kim decided that after 19yrs of working in the outdoors he would like to try his hand at something new. Kim met with his Employment Consultant Siobhain and together they made a goal to have Kim in new employment, preferably in retail, by December.

Kim and Siobhain set about meeting on a regular basis discussing his interests and what kind of work he’d ideally like to do. As Kim has a natural love for animals (having numerous birds and a cat at home) they decided on trying to get him work where he could be around them regularly. In July Siobhain approached Allie at Head To Tail Pets to talk about Kim and discussed the option of him trialling work in their store.  After a bit of negotiating and a meeting with Kim, Head to Tail Pets offered employment in August of 8hrs a week. Kim’s initial duties were to clean the animal pens at the back of the store, handle any pets so they became comfortable with being touched and vacuuming the store. Kim has now been with Head To Tail Pets for 6 months and his hours have been increased to 3 shifts a week, working every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8-12. In addition to his new  hours Kim’s duties have also changed and he is now responsible for the care of all the birds (and birdcages) in the store, assisting with unloading trucks and maintaining stock and store presentation (oh and he still has to vacuum the store). Much to the disappointment of Workforce Kim has now resigned his long term employment as a trolley collector and has now become a popular, well-liked and ongoing addition to the team at Head to Tail Pets 4 months before the end of his goal deadline!


Kim Frater has been working with us at Head to Tail Pets for  12 months now, and in that time he has really come out of his shell. He relates well with all the staff here, and appears to get a lot of enjoyment out of his work.

He pays special attention to the health and wellbeing of the birds, which is his main area of work, ensuring they are cleaned, fed and looking happy and healthy. In recent weeks especially, he has taken it on board to report any health concerns, and issues with the birds ensuring that their wellbeing is always his top priority.

He does a fantastic job around the shop, and is a valued member of our team” Allie J


Matt's Story



The PaTH Internship initiative was announced in the 2016 budget, designed as a way to get young unemployed people into job training and work experience programs, with a view to getting them off welfare and into paid employment.  A PaTH internship is a supervised work experience opportunity to see if a young person is the right fit for a job in your business.  The program seeks to encourage jobseekers under 25 to take part in 4-12 week internships by paying them $200 a fortnight on top of dole payments and giving employers $1000 up front.  Since the program began on April 1, slightly more than 1000 young people have started internships and 200 have ongoing jobs.

Charlene, Yogi and Matt

Charlene, Yogi and Matt


GSP Denmark (Disability Employment Provider) in conjunction South Coast Stock Feeds and Matt are working together to maximise the opportunity that the PaTH Internship provides.

Matt has been a client of GSP for the past 2 years. Matt has had a couple of casual jobs but nothing consistent. Matt’s confidence and anxiety levels were beginning to affect him in a negative way, and then came a long PaTH Internships.

Employment Consultant, Michaela discussed this with Matt and he was very interested and was soon placed at South Coast Stock Feeds, Denmark. Matt met with the owners Charlene and Gavin ( “Yogi” as he likes to be called ), and after a short interview commenced his Internship.

Matt is there 5 days per week for 3 hours a day.

The change in Matt has been immense, his confidence has risen, and he is smiling and does not shy away from others. A lot of this change is due to “Yogi” and the way he has been with Matt and teaching him that he “Can’t make a mistake, it’s always a lesson”.

Yogi has told EC that he is hoping to be in a position to offer Matt paid employment at the end of the Internship as he is a young man that he would be happy to employ.


Tarkyn's Journey

2015 was a big year for me. In February, I became a Bible-believing Christian, and within a few weeks was persecuted for my faith for the first time. I had started studying an online course- a diploma in video game design, just to get my employment agency off my back. I had such difficulty searching and applying for jobs after 5 years of failed tertiary education, so I didn’t know what else to do. Later on, something unexpected was set to happen.


I was with my mum, shopping in Harvey Norman for a new refrigerator for my mum, as our old one had retired after a long life of work. Suddenly, I got a call from an unknown number. Normally, I would ignore this kind of thing, due to extreme and uncomfortable anxiety that I had about talking to (especially) new people over the phone. But all of my anxiety had been washed away in February, so I curiously answered the phone: "Hello?"

It turns out that it was some person from the government. They never declared where they were from, but they asked me how I was finding the employment agency which I was at. I had told them that they weren’t at all helping me at all, and in fact, they had been treating me unpleasantly, and also blaming me for it!

After the discussion, I was thanked for my feedback, and that was that. A few weeks later, I was contacted by Great Southern Personnel, who I had scarcely heard of before. They wanted to arrange an appointment. I didn’t understand this at first, but I thought back to that mysterious phone call I had received in Harvey Norman. So this is how I came to be involved with GSP.

From the first moment, I was treated with care and honesty. It was a refreshing change to what I had come accustomed to. Very soon I was offered the opportunity for a position on the GSP Workforce Trolley Collection team, which I was accepted for. After being on the team for a while, the Trolley Supervisor, Graham, had after observation, noted that I would be apt to train as a Trolley Supervisor. I took on the responsibility, and it was a joy and a challenge, and an honour to be given the task of watching over others for their benefit, and the benefit of the team of GSP Workforce.


Over the course of the two years I have been with GSP, the Employment Coordinators I’ve had have been very helpful and encouraging; you can tell that they have a genuine interest in supporting you in your employment journey. Thanks Ken, Lee, and Anne.

Most recently, it was Anne who presented me with the program at Great Southern Employment Development Committee (GSEDC), called Young Harvest. It is a program engaging young people in social enterprises, the first two of which being garlic farming, and bee keeping. I was very privileged to see the whole of the bee keeping (apiarian) aspect of the program, from start to finish.


The bee keeping started with assembling the hives from scratch, to choosing apiary sites, to maintaining hive colony health, to eventually harvesting (extracting) the honey, and finally selling it as a product. This is the goal at Young Harvest: to start a product from the base materials, and see it through all the way to sales. I’d like to thank Shelley, our bee mentor, at SKK Honey, for all of her guidance and training in producing raw and unprocessed honey from our local area.

Finally, my journey (as I know it) at Young Harvest has come to an end. However, I have been selected to be a part of a new program at GSEDC, Get Your Game Off, set to educate school-aged people about the affects of, and remedies, to video game addiction. Keep an eye out for it, along with the Young Harvest branded garlic and honey - which you can also find as part of the Lime 303 and Hybla menus.

Many thanks to each member of the team both at Young Harvest and at Great Southern Personnel. You are all working, making a lasting impact on the community, and the lives of each person participating in your business.

And as the Book says;

"He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor."


Thanks for reading.

Tuned in and Ready to Rock

At 60 years of age and after 15 years as a Floating Floor Installer, Terry came to a place where he was no longer able to cope with the physical demands of the work. Often working 10 hour days, 7-10 days straight had left him with, at times, incapacitating back pain, which necessitated almost daily use of Panadeine Forte as prescribed by his doctor.

X-rays revealed degenerative arthritis in the lower back. “Jobs were taking increasingly longer to complete and he was totally exhausted at the end of the day. All he was doing was working and sleeping”

Terry was also diagnosed by his doctor with depression, brought about in part by his continual exhaustion and anxiety about future employment possibilities.

At the beginning of 2015, on the strength of a medical certificate from his doctor, Terry came to the confronting realisation that he was no longer fit for work in the building industry. He took himself off to Centrelink to explore his options for retraining.

After some months on a medical certificate, Centrelink assessed him as capable of 15 hours of light work a week. They sent him to Great Southern Personal (GSP), in Albany – a local disability job service provider. “To be labelled as ‘disabled’ was a bit disconcerting, to say the least, especially as i had been engaged in physically demanding work most of my life”, says Terry.

In his first interview with GSP, Sandra mentioned the possibility of study to increase his opportunities for finding suitable employment. He and Sandra discussed such options as Aged Care, Community Services etc.

They also talked about his passions, interests and hobbies. Terry has been playing music around the place, primarily as a hobby, but was interested in turning that into an alternative career path. With Sandra’s encouragement and support, Terry contacted Tony King at the (then) GSIT in Denmark to enquire about options in the music programme. Tony decided that with Terry’s previous experience in the industry, he could place Terry in the Diploma of Music programme, a 12 month full time course.

He has subsequently successfully completed the Diploma, AT THE END OF JUNE 2016, and now has a number of further skills to take him closer to his goal of working professionally in the Music Industry.

Among many other tools, the course gave Terry access to the GSIT’s recording studio and the knowledge to operate the Protools recording software. He also learned about online promotion through Facebook (Terry MacKintosh Music), Soundcloud, and has subscribed to various online A&R groups that can help with the process of getting his music heard.

Terry has steadily increased his performing profile on the south coast and can be seen playing regularly around the place, including the Boatshed Markets, Elleker Tavern, The White Star Hotel. “The course has given me the skills and the confidence to promote myself to venues, festivals etc”

Just before Christmas 2015 Terry released his first CD called “The Seed”. He plans to be back in the studio this year (2016) to begin work on his second project. “It is very satisfying to have a product which I can use for promotional purposes and also for sale at gigs. It’s a real thrill when someone enjoys my music enough to buy a CD to take home”.

He has recently purchased the latest Protools software as a first step in setting up a home studio, where he can initially produce demos of his work. With further experience he plans to offer this service to others in the musical community.

Terry is well on the way to making a regular income from the music scene, either as a live performer and/or assisting in various musical events, including the Denmark Festival of Voice and the Denmark Markets, as well as the Vancouver Street Festival and the Snake Run Skating Festival in Albany

“I am very grateful to the team at GSP, in particular Sandra in Albany and David in the Denmark office, for their on-going support and encouragement, and of course also to Tony King and the (now) South Regional Tafe. Without them, I would never have taken seriously the idea that I could turn a passion and hobby into a viable career path,” Terry.

Trent's Story


Trent moved with his mother to Albany from Lake Grace early 2015. They had moved down to see about giving Trent more work opportunities. Trent registered with GSP in July 2015. Trent worked with his EC David to identify areas he would like to be employed in.

David made contact with Jumbuck Insulation and introduced Trent to the owner Mick. Mick was happy to look at giving Trent an opportunity and with the help of Trent’s EC they created a role for Trent in the business. Several small jobs were identified and were merged into one role. Trent started work with Jumbuck Insulation in September 2015 and initially did 3 days of 3 hours a week. Trent’s hours have increased along with the role he does.

 Trent was initially unsure he could do the work but with the full support of GSP and the team at Jumbuck insulation Trent’s confidence has blossomed and he is a valued member of staff.

Trent is coming up to almost 6 months in employment and really enjoys the work he is now doing.


A Rosey Future

The Employment Coordinator met with Rose on the 9th of  September 2015 in Manjimup during an initial interview to register her for services with GSP - Bunbury branch.  

It was easy to like the feisty 54 year old who began to tell the details of her journey to date.  

Rose conveyed how she'd lived like a recluse for 9 years after becoming housebound due to obesity and had soon began to deal with the onset of health problems associated with her weight to include depression.  

In 2011 Rose went through surgery as the weight she'd been carrying impacted her knee.  

When gastric sleeving was offered in 2014 Rose didn't hesitate to accept the opportunity and so her transformation was to begin. Even with a stomach infection after the surgery Rose hit the gym only 4 weeks later.  In two years Rose was to lose half her body mass a total of 75 kilos.  When I met with Rose she appeared agile, active, upbeat and into working- out at the gym, a complete turnaround from her former self.  

Rose also had corrective shoulder surgery in 2015 and soon after returned to the gym.  

Although Rose was still coming to terms with psychological scars from her former life she realised there was only one thing missing, employment. 

With her Employment Coordinators assistance Rose has turned her life around and is now working her benchmark hours with two job in her hometown of Pemberton. She is working at the local gym kitchen as a waitress, and at her local IGA doing night fill. 

Rose enjoys quality time with her grandchildren and husband and she attributes her reason for being here today and the determination she had to call upon to take control of her life to her family. 

 “it was one small step at a time that got me where I am today.” 

Maddi’s Story


Maddison (Maddi) commenced with GSP on 18/2/14 after being referred to our service by her VET/Careers coordinator at Great Southern Grammar. At this time Maddi was completing year 11 and SWL through the grammar school and was completing placements with Kate’s Place and Bunnings.

In April 2015 Maddi met with new EC Siobhain who began marketing her for kitchen hand and hospitality type positions. Siobhain met with David, manager for York St Café to discuss Maddi’s suitability for kitchen hand work and a trial was arranged. Maddi successfully completed trial with David and he offered her casual employment which she commenced in June. Maddi did extremely well in employment with York Street Café and positive feedback from employer was received however due to lull in business they were unable to keep Maddi employed. After returning to the drawing board with her father Chris, Maddi decided to try the retail industry with an interest in beauty. Maddi enrolled in a Cert II Retail with Worklink in September 2015 and Siobhain arranged a work experience placement for her with Hairscope by Marlene. Marlene was impressed with Maddi’s friendly and outgoing personality and wage subsidy was offered for employment of 15hrs a week, plus on the job support from EC which was accepted.  By December 2015 Maddi completed her secondary education with GSG, her Cert II Retail with Worklink and was continuing her employment of 15hrs per week with Hairscope where her duties consisted of booking in clients, washing/treatment of hair, retail sales and collecting payment for haircuts, stock presentation and general salon cleaning.  A fantastic year full of accomplishments.   Maddi is currently working two full days a week with Hairscope by Marlene as well as three days a week with Fletcher International and has just purchased her first car with the money she’s earned. She is now saving up for her first overseas trip to New Zealand. In addition to this Hairscope by Marlene is now looking at employing a second client through GSP as salon assistant on the days Maddi is no longer available as owner Marlene was not only impressed with the wage subsidy offered but the amount of support given to the salon whilst Maddi was in training with them by GSP.   


Meet Wayne

Please call Michaela Stolban at GSP if you would like to meet, assist or employ Wayne - 9842 1510 or 0417 954 814

Please call Michaela Stolban at GSP if you would like to meet, assist or employ Wayne - 9842 1510 or 0417 954 814

Wayne is a hardworking, reliable and enthusiastic individual who enjoys working outside.

His past employment history includes farm work where his role was a farm-hand and also a joint manager. In this role he completed numerous tasks including:

  •     Using machinery
  •     Dealing with cattle/stock
  •     Seeding
  •     Spraying which involved initiative, team work and also working on his own

He also has experience as a labourer where he can:

  •     Mix mud
  •     Prepare ground ready for paving
  •     Road repairs and general maintenance

He has a White Card and R and C class licences and is working towards gaining his HR licence.

Wayne has his own transport and would be a great asset to any business and is available to work any day of the week.