JUST two months after opening its doors in Tasmania, not-for-profit Maxima Group is already having a positive impact on the lives of local jobseekers with a disability.
Maxima opened offices in Launceston and Glenorchy on 2 July as part of a national expansion that has seen it become one of the country’s largest players in the Australian Government’s Disability Employment Services Program.
Maxima chairman John Schumann said Tasmanians would see a new standard of service and approach to supporting people with a disability, injury or health condition.
The experiences of new customers, including Diane Hayes, show it has not taken long for Maxima to deliver.
Ms Hayes, aged 52, moved to Launceston from the UK in 2007.
She had worked in demanding secretarial roles for high-profile companies and achieved a lot in the corporate world, but her mental health suffered and she continues to fight against depression.
Despite her condition, Ms Hayes has started three small businesses, including Pinky Community Support, which provides in-home support and transport services exclusively for women, by women.
Ms Hayes also works on a casual basis as a community support worker for a local not-for-profit.
The hours and the income are patchy, which means she needs to find more paid work while her businesses are trying to establish.
Ms Hayes switched to Maxima soon after it opened its doors.
She said she has seen a real difference in the support she has been given by employment consultant, Bianca Templar.
“For me, it was very refreshing to find a job provider that didn’t immediately want to steer me into any job no matter what your qualifications or goals,” she said.
“It was really nice to come on board with Maxima and have Bianca straight away find out first all about me and what my goals are.
“When I told her about launching Pinky eight months ago and how I was trying to get that going, she didn’t just push it aside.
“She told me I should continue to work on that and let her find something with regular hours around it.”
As well as searching for regular paid work, Ms Templar has been pulling out all the stops to support Ms Hayes with growing her businesses.
“I didn’t ask her, but off her own bat she has been researching information and statistics and turning them into marketing material,” Ms Hayes said.
“Another big difference with Maxima and Bianca is when they say they will help you with your resume, they actually do it.”
Ms Templar said she had also been helping Ms Hayes to extend her business contacts, widen her network and reach new clients, including the LGBTQI community.
“We are doing everything we can to spread the word about Diane,” she said.
Ms Hayes said she believed Pinky could provide her with a solid income, while also fulfil her goal to provide an important service for local women.
Pinky is the first service of its kind in Australia to provide both in-home support and transport exclusively for women.
For more information, visit the website at www.maxima.com.au/contact or Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pinkycommunitysupport.
Caption: Maxima employment consultant Bianca Templar, left, with new client Diane Hayes