Work Experience

Respect and Diversity: We respect others and value the diversity that through our service provision individuals bring to our organisation

Work Experience

Through each of our structured Work Experience Activities jobseekers will be able to progressively develop the holistic range of skills and attitudes required to participate actively and gain and sustain meaningful employment. Our model ethos centres on innovative integrated activities that will allow participants to concurrently develop social, life, generic employability and vocational skills.

Our trained staff maximise opportunities for contextulised ‘on the job’ learning and participants are assisted to access workshops and Nationally Accredited training where applicable. The development of wider community connections are also fostered via linkages with local services and through external work experience placements that will place participants into brokered placements within community organisations.

The activities multi-faceted approach also offer participants wide ranging options which will cater for the differing timeframes they may require to address individual barriers to employment whilst stimulating and accommodating the jobseekers individual interests and career objectives.

The Avocare Community Connect Work Experience Activities, in design closely mirrors the Australian Governments Social Inclusion aspiration of, “increasing social, civic and economic participation by helping everyone get the skills and support they need so they can work and connect with the community even during hard times” Our extensive experience in working with disadvantaged jobseekers has enabled us to develop activities that we believe give people a much needed “opportunity to: secure a job, access services, connect with local community and overcome their personal and professional barriers in an inclusive and supported environment.

All Avocare Community Connect activities are manned by local Work Experience Participants. Referrals to all activities are generated exclusively by activity local Job Services Australia Providers (JSA’s) who have a current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Avocare.

Each work experience activity that Avocare Community Connect facilitates coincides with the direct and hands on operation that is required to fulfil the obligations and responsibilities required on a daily basis. Participants are given ‘hands on’ ‘real life’ responsibilities and industry orientated tasks that help them gain valuable task skills that enable them to successfully transition to paid employment.

Current Work Experience Activities

Avocare Community Connect Distribution Centre and Kitchen

Situated at: 91a Cheltenham Road, Dandenong 3175

Activity Overview;

Since its inception in 2006 with the support of the Greater City of Dandenong Food Alliance, The Avocare Community Connect Distribution Centre and Kitchen has grown exponentially and has become an award winning high profile facility that provides food relief to local Welfare Agencies and Charity Organisations.

In partnership with Foodbank Victoria Avocare Community Connect has been able to give much needed food relief to the local community through diverse service provision that enables strong working partnerships with external stakeholders as well as allowing Avocare to independently support local community organisation that would otherwise fall under the food relief radar.

As a whole the Community Connect Distribution Centre is able to provide to its 90 accessing agencies;

  • Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
  • Bottled Water
  • Staple foodstuffs including bread and milk
  • Perishable foodstuffs (including fresh, fridge and frozen products)
  • Non Perishable items
  • Personal Care Products
  • Assorted food and household essential hampers
  • On occasion some luxury items

The Basis of the Community Connect Operation consists of a Distribution Centre and Community Training Kitchen undertaking;

  • Direct agency service
  • Food collection and rescue
  • Food preparation and cooking
  • Repacking of bulk goods to consumer useable weights
  • Hamper planning and packing

Avocare’s independent direct community support entails feeding local homeless and disenfranchised persons 1 night per week in the local Dandenong Town Mall. Recipients are given a hot soup entree, hot main meal, bottled water, fruit, dessert, take away healthy snacks and food staples such as bread.

Avocare Connect Book Barn: Rescue, Re-cycling and Resale

Situated at: 91a Cheltenham Road, Dandenong 3175

Activity Overview;

The Avocare Connect Book Barn: Recycling, Rescue and Resale is an activity that is being set up to compliment Avocare Community Connects other major activity of food rescue and distribution.

Avocare is socially conscious of the importance of recycling and re-using where practicable items of worth in the local community. Books previously being pulped are now being donated to the activity by a generous provider and will, through the activity objectives be able to find new homes and continue to contribute to building and maintaining important literacy skills. As the activity progresses donations and rescue will be investigated from other sources to compliment the already 60 to 70 thousand books per annum secured to maintain the continuity of the activity.

The Book Barn activity specifically aims to:

The main objectives of the activity are;

  • Stop good quality books being pulped by rescuing, recycling and reselling them
  • Engage jobseekers in a ‘real work’ WEX activity that will improve their employment prospects, enhance their social consciousness, consolidate and; or develop new transferable work skills and encourage a sense of pride in a ‘job well done’
  • Foster community networks within the local community and help contribute valuable literacy tools to existing programs
  • Up skill jobseekers who are geared toward a career change or alternative career path

Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital: Garden, Restoration & Maintenance

Situated at: 300 Waterdale Road, Heidelberg 3081

Activity Overview;

The heritage of the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital (part of Austin Health) has forged strong links with the Australian Defence Force and has served the needs of our Veterans for many years. With that history in mind the activities intentions consist of three phases that will bear significant benefit to the Veteran Community, their families, visitors, hospital staff and collectively Austin Health.

The phase one focus is to rejuvenate memorial and other garden areas, park benches and a memorial arbour whilst recognising and maintaining the significant heritage of the hospital grounds and connectedness of its respected community.

Phase two will be to systematically remove disused equipment and furniture currently in storage throughout the hospital, and where possible restore for reuse by the hospital, the Avocare Workshop or alternatively be prepared for sale or disposal with a preference to resourcing recycling options.

Integral to running a successful on the ground activity will require the focus of phase three which will be to setup a suitable workshop, training and office facilities space, that has been designated to house the work experience and training programs at onsite.

Main objectives of the activity are;

  • Maintain, restore and rejuvenate the heritage areas of the Veterans’ community including memorial gardens, arbour and benches
  • Engage jobseekers in a ‘real work’ WEX activity that will improve their employment prospects, enhance their social consciousness, consolidate and | or develop new transferable work skills and encourage a sense of pride in a ‘job well done’
  • Foster community networks within the hospital grounds and help contribute to the ongoing achievements and daily workings of the hospital
  • Up skill jobseekers who are geared toward a career change or alternative career path
  • Recognise the contributions of the ‘Veteran Community’ by ‘giving back’ through a measurable means

Peninsula Brokered Work Experience Activity Placements

The main aims of Avocare’s brokered work experience activities are to ensure that the participant is given the opportunity to develop new knowledge and skills whilst consolidating already existing industry employment skills. Brokered positions are stand alone placements negotiated with not for profit community organisations where participants can gain relevant industry specific skills that mirror as closely as possible their chosen career path. Participants are individually matched and placed with a Host Employer that can give them the opportunity to gain ‘hands on’ real life’ employment experience.

Brokered Work Experience can include placements in;

  • Schools
  • Charity Op Shops
  • Churches
  • Community Houses and Hubs
  • Community Organisation and Charities

Placement Positions can include;

  • Gardening
  • Administration
  • Kitchen Operations
  • Animal Handling
  • Personal Care
  • Teachers Aide
  • Customer Service – Retail
  • All rounder

Dandy Heritage

Situated at: 63 Robinson Street, Dandenong 3175

Participants of this activity work with the Dandenong Historical Society to develop a database pertaining to historical records from the 1800’s onwards.

Participants learn how to create an access database and then use that knowledge to develop a database containing the historical records. Due to degradation of hard copy records over time this database will become an essential tool in the recording of historical data for posterity. The database, once completed, will be available to the community through the Dandenong and Historical Society.