“I’m thankful for my struggle because without it I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength,” she says.

Pania can certainly be proud now, going from strength to strength in a role she began through the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program. She is a bubbly and well-spoken lady who impressed her employers and was offered a continuing contract with further training included.

“I have acquired so many new skills in the office and through study which I have been able to implement in my personal life. It’s given me the confidence to branch out and pursue my dreams. I intend on doing a Diploma of Business when I have completed my current Traineeship,” she said.

However, it is true that Pania struggled for some time to find work and be able to support her sons. A few years ago, she found herself borrowing money regularly to buy groceries, falling behind in her rent and selling her TV to pay bills. She had great work experience in hospitality and management roles, but that style of work wasn’t suitable anymore with her caring responsibilities.

She met Lisa, ParentsNext Support Officer, at SYC in Logan. ParentsNext is a program that helps parents of young children to be ready for employment or education by the time their youngest child turns 6. Lisa heard Pania’s story and recognised that she needed support with an income immediately.

“I encouraged her to go and speak to a Social Worker at Centrelink to try and find out why there was a delay with her payments. She ended up being back-paid enough money that she could catch up on bills, take eldest son for dental work and buy herself a small car,” Lisa said.

Not only was this a huge relief, Pania was grateful to have someone who believed in her and would work for her best interests. She trusted Lisa and together they worked on confidence, preparing a resume and interviewing for the role at Queensland Ballet. Lisa was able to purchase Pania some new clothes so she would look her best in the interview and when she started her new role.

“Pania has received great feedback from Queensland Ballet as she is always willing to do more than expected. She has been exposed to the Marketing team and assisted the restaurants and bars with stocktakes etc. Pania will have a secure position there for at least 2 years,” Lisa said.

“Her youngest son has been going to day care and loving it. Now she is saving up for a new car.”

Pania’s skills and work ethic have certainly served her well, but she says she has SYC to thank.

“I am so very grateful to Lisa and SYC for the amazing support and consideration that I have received. I believe it was fate, I wouldn’t be here today it wasn’t for you. You have always gone above and beyond for me,” she said.

“I am a 38-year-old mother with 2 children that now feels like I have so many more choices and paths to take to provide the life I have always dreamed of having and giving my family.”