Matt Murphy loves helping people gain independence and turn their lives around. Now, as a Jobs Victoria Mentor, he does it every day.
Recently Matt helped a young man. Aged 16, the man had no parents from the age of nine and had spent time in respite, residential care and juvenile detention after a run-in with the law.
He had no idea what he wanted to do with his life, but he told Matt that when nobody was around, he liked to cook.
“Why not see if we can turn that hobby into a career?” Matt thought, so he arranged some experience in a kitchen.
“I took him for an interview on a Saturday morning, on my day off, because I wanted to see that kid make a difference,” he says, “and he did! He’s absolutely loving his job. He can see himself having a career as a chef."
“That’s why I do it; because I see potential in people that they might not see in themselves.”
Supporting people to change
Wodonga-based Matt works with people across the Ovens, Murray and Goulburn region who are at risk of long-term unemployment.
Clients may have a criminal record, suffer from mental health issues or be experiencing domestic violence. Others may be homeless, battling drug or alcohol dependency, be new Australians or speak limited English.
“We’re able to put them in the right services to get them that long-term outcome, which is to have a career path,” Matt says. “I love seeing people make a change.”
Someone to speak for them
Some of Matt’s clients feel hopeless when they meet. They assume issues such as a criminal record or poor work history will rule them out when applying for jobs through popular recruitment platforms.
Matt is proud to speak up for these people looking for work.
“Being a Jobs Victoria Mentor, I’m able to speak on their behalf – to explain why or how they can be of benefit to that business,” he says.
“In some cases, I’ve been able to make contact with an employer on SEEK and reverse-market a candidate, and that candidate’s gained the job.”
Find out how we can help
Matt’s message to people looking for work is simple and uplifting.
“Get in touch with Jobs Victoria. Research us, look at what we do, find our locations, find where your closest Jobs Victoria Mentor is. The more you engage with us, the more we’re able to adapt to help get you into employment,” he says.
“There is a lot of employment out there, and the more supports you have in your back pocket, the better chance you’ve got.”