WISE Employment champions creativity within the job seeker community.

Australian not-for-profit employment service provider, WISE Employment, is giving its community of job seekers, their loved ones and staff, the opportunity to showcase their creative talents via the organisation’s latest initiative – The Art Project.

Artists within the WISE network have been handpicked to create work that will contribute to a curated art collection to be displayed at WISE’s recently renovated main office in Melbourne, Victoria.

In February, an open call was launched to WISE’s community members of over 10,000 people across the country, asking for expressions of interest to be involved in the competition. The call-out encouraged artists from all disciplines, and experience levels, to submit an expression of interest for consideration.

From 71 submissions, 56 artists have been chosen to contribute to the collection, either commissioned to develop a unique piece of artwork for the office or to acquire an original, existing piece.

Additionally, these artists will go in the running to be titled as a grand prize winner, eligible to receive an award to the value of $2,000. Winners will be announced later in the year and selected by a committee of both stakeholders and external industry specialists.

The project, initially designed to engage and showcase the creative talents within the WISE community, has developed a new purpose amidst the global pandemic – supporting artists during an extremely trying time.

WISE Employment CEO, Matthew Lambelle, says that the organisation is proud to showcase the inherent talents of their community members.

“Art is something that connects our entire community, providing us all with an opportunity to unite and share stories through this creative outlet,” he said.

“For us, the project empowers our community and unveils the creative side of our customers from a range of cultures and backgrounds. We’re looking forward to seeing the collection come together, and displaying artwork with such powerful meanings behind them at our central office.”

Victorian artist and WISE customer, Shane Van Den Akker from Ballarat says he’s humbled to be involved in the project.

“A WISE Employment staff member from the Richmond office suggested that I apply for the project as they thought I was the perfect candidate with my artistic background,” Shane said.

“After WISE’s approval of my application, and getting selected to participate, it’s been a really exciting journey working with the WISE team to bring my artwork to life. Especially during a time when some of my other jobs have been on and off due to the pandemic.”

“When possible, I’ll be creating a mural at WISE Employment’s headquarters that’s inspired by connection and community, and how they intertwine. My aim is for the mural to bring some depth to the space that will connect and engage people.”

WISE Employment is a not-for-profit employment service provider, assisting disadvantaged job seekers in the community, including those living with a disability, mental illness, youth, ex-offenders, refugees and indigenous communities in securing meaningful work.

WISE assists job seekers and employers under the Australian Government’s Disability Employment Services (DES) and jobactive programs.

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About WISE Employment:

Founded in 1992, WISE Employment exists to connect and empower job seekers and employers and currently helps more than 30,000 people to their path to self-sufficiency through meaningful work. Since 2001, it has invested $3.5 million in projects to support disadvantaged members of the community.

WISE operates three social enterprises employing more than 220 people.

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