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Introducing you to Nicole, winner of Asuria’s 2023 Individual of the Year Award

6 minute read

On December 1st each year, Asuria comes together to celebrate U Day, a formal day for all of us at Asuria to celebrate our achievements and Enterprising Heart. As part of our annual U Day celebrations, we all take part in the Asuria Enterprising Heart Awards Ceremony.  

The Asuria Enterprising Heart Awards Ceremony recognises our staff members for their contribution to the company and the positive impact they’ve made in the lives of their co-workers and our customers.  

The 2023 Individual of the Year Award recipient is Nicole Norris, Industry Partnership Manager in our Employer Services Team. Selected by Asuria’s Chief Executive Officer, Nicole Grainger-Marsh, Nicole Norris has accomplished a long list of achievements this year alone and has proven to be an Inspiring and Leading member of the team, taking on projects beyond her role and delivering impressive results for Asuria. 

As an integral member of the Employer Services team, Nicole has supported several key projects, including the development of the 2022 and 2023 Maritime Operations Program, which combines the efforts of Asuria, Babana Aboriginal Men’s Group, Tribal Warrior, and NRMA Marine to provide hands-on training toward formal maritime qualifications. 

In the first wave of this program, nine out of eleven participants who took part gained employment after graduating. Much of this success came from the incredible lengths Nicole went to in building trust with participants. Her efforts towards connection can be seen through Thomas, an Asuria participant who Nicole supported in gaining his first-ever paid employment opportunity. Facing a drug and alcohol addiction, an emotionally taxing custody battle, and the impact of the deaths of several loved ones, Thomas worked closely with Nicole through the Maritime Operations Program, which helped him gain the experience needed to secure a general-purpose hand role with NRMA Marine. Since his time in the program, Thomas was named winner of the Supply Chain and eCommerce Student of the Year award at the TAFE NSW Gili Awards, and finalist for Achiever of the Year at the NESA Awards, and has supported other First Nations job seekers in entering life-changing employment. 

Thomas shared his experience of being supported by Nicole, “I was in a dark spot for a long time, and Nicole has really lightened my life back up. Mate, me standing here today, I’m one proud man. Nicole has got me into a place where I’m smiling every day. I wake up every day. I go to work every day. I’m just over the moon.” 

Nicole has now delivered multiple rounds of the Maritime Operations Program, achieving incredible results and creating important opportunities for First Nations job seekers just like Thomas. 

Uncle Mark Spinks from Babana Aboriginal Men’s Group shared his experience working with Nicole, “It is an absolute pleasure working with Nicole, I have seen her growth and confidence over the last twelve months, and she has helped us achieve great impact for our community. The commitment she has for working with First Nations people is second to none, she has an incredible heart for the job and Asuria is in very good hands with her in the role she does. She has been an incredible link with us and the programs she’s been involved in and so responsive even on her days off and after hours to create possibilities for our First Nations people.” 

Another project that Nicole has been instrumental in is the Job Mates Program, which successfully transitions First Nations ex-offenders into the community to prevent recidivism and provide a pathway to employment.  

Job Mates supports the physical, mental, and emotional health of First Nations participants, creating pathways to employment through connection with employers. Nicole has delivered strong outcomes for internal and external stakeholders through Job Mates, demonstrating a determination to improve the employment opportunities available to First Nations participants. Through Nicole’s leadership in facilitating this program, seven participants found work or education opportunities after being connected to employers.  

Throughout both projects, Nicole led her team with passion and managed key relationships with partners, employers, and industry associations. At every step, Nicole keeps the interests of her First Nations participants as the highest priority, and understands the importance of tailoring employment to the unique experiences of the job seekers she meets.

Outside of Nicole’s regular duties, she is always ready to help when she sees a team needing support. Earlier this year, Nicole stepped up to lead the NSW Employer Services Team on top of her current role, providing essential support, structure and leadership. During her leadership, Nicole delivered increased performance and provided stellar support to the NSW team over a two-month recruitment period. 

A member of Nicole’s team commented on their experience working under her leadership, “As a colleague, Nicole stretches me every day to deliver better results and outcomes for our employers, participants, and business. Her capacity to be creative in targeted recruitment solutions for our employer services team, structured processes and methodologies can be applied across our broader team. She is an invaluable asset to delivering on our Employer Services Strategy.”

Nicole’s approach to supporting First Nations participants across all projects has seen a ripple effect in the scope of Asuria’s support and connection with job seekers, employers, industry associations, and partners. Nicoles beats to an Enterprising Heart and shows her team and fellow Asurians what it means to Make a Difference in the lives of our participants. Congratulations Nicole, the 2023 Individual of the Year award winner! 

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