This month our very own Brenda DeAtta, Northam manager and Indigenous Mentor, is celebrating ten years with Directions. This is a significant milestone in today’s increasingly mobile workforce and we are excited to celebrate this with her!
Brenda originally came to us as a client, having been referred by Centrelink as part of a work ready program for one of our popular jobseeker courses running then.
“I had previously worked as a mothercraft nurse, in childcare and retail, for a printing company…even at a roller skating rink” Brenda shared, “but I didn’t know how to turn on a computer – I thought I was going to break it!”
“I stuck with it though” she added, and it paid off. Directions identified something special in Brenda straight away and created a reception position for her to support a Certificate II level traineeship in Business.
During the traineeship, Brenda was exposed to the range of services Directions provide, and quickly demonstrated a passion to help others just like herself. It was not long before Brenda’s level of commitment to helping us help our local community in a culturally sensitive and proactive way led to her being formally trained by Directions as a Career Development Officer, and she completed two Certificate IV level training programs all while working full time.
“During this time, an opportunity came up to act in the lead Aboriginal workforce development officer role, and later I was offered the role permanently. I just ran with it.”
Since then Brenda has also gone on to help train and mentor eight subsequent Career Development Officers.
Her dedication to helping all Aboriginal people achieve meaningful outcomes, not just ticking boxes, has resulted in her assisting well over 400 Aboriginal clients into employment, self-employment or training in the years since.
“What I find most satisfying is watching (our clients) grow, not necessarily in big leaps, but even in baby steps towards where they want to go; their goals. Nurturing them to upskill and seeing them progress is wonderful.”
“Past clients still come into the Directions office to see me and say ‘hi’ and share their stories.”
Looking to the future, Brenda admits she still has the same passion to make a difference and give people the belief that if she can do it, so can they.
“The team I have had around me over the last ten years has supported me throughout this journey. A big thank you to our CEO Ian Eardley who believed in me and encouraged me every step of the way and to the Directions Board who also supported me.”