Despite COVID barriers, Amelia makes their first career move at South East Queensland Hauliers

Amelia and Joy stand in front of a truck photo smiling at the camera

When the full effects of the COVID-19 pandemic hit Australian shores in March 2020, 22-year-old Queensland local Amelia was feeling out of place and finding it near impossible to find a job.

When they first approached WISE in early 2020, Amelia was quite shy and timid.

“They didn’t make much eye contact and were quite inward”, recounted their WISE Employment Liaison Officer Joy.

Amelia was living with anxiety and depression and like many young people just starting out their career during a pandemic, was starting to lose hope.

“It might sound corny but I just said to Amelia you have to believe in yourself. If you don’t, no one else will,” said Joy.

To help build their confidence, WISE Employment Consultant Benjamin provided them with workshops on interview techniques, body language dos and don’ts and confidence-building exercises.

“WISE ensured I was interview-ready by helping me update my resume. They were really supportive throughout the whole process, checking in with me often. Sadly, they couldn’t be face-to-face meetings because of COVID, but phone check-ins worked just as well”, recalls Amelia.

In March 2021, Amelia landed a job in the bookings department of South East Queensland Hauliers (SEQH) which involves managing container transport and logistics.

When Amelia had initial conversations with their employer, they both devised strategies to help them if they were ever feeling uneasy at work. For example, whenever they are stressed or overwhelmed, Amelia is encouraged to take a few minutes to relax and get some fresh air, with their team leader well aware of what they need to do to get back on track.

Amelia has now been there for nearly nine months and is exceeding all expectations. Soon they will have their accreditation of the Australian Quarantine and Infection Service – meaning they will certify the containers coming into Australia are free from biosecurity risks. A pretty impressive qualification for someone in their early 20s.

“The transformation has been incredible to watch”, says Joy. “Now – gosh – when you see them they stand taller, are bubbly, chatty and really confident. They have also thrown themselves into their work and have even asked me what books they could read on logistics to find out more about their industry”.

Amelia loves dealing with the public day-to-day and picking up the phones to have a chat with people from all different walks of life. “In this new job I’ve also learnt that it’s okay to sometimes feel stressed, it’s just about how I manage that stress now, and not be too hard on myself.”

Although they push themselves out of their comfort zone at work, Amelia sees it as a positive and a learning curve. ‘I’m constantly learning all the time, whether that be helping someone out or problem-solving. Plus, everyone at SEQH is super welcoming and there’s always room to keep growing within the business,” says Amelia.

A few months earlier, Joy paid a visit to SEQH with a card and chocolates to celebrate Amelia’s six month work anniversary. “We were just so proud to see Amelia in their element and how far they had come”, said Joy.

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