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Mark ferries a brighter future through the Maritime Operations Program

4 minute read

When Mark first came to Asuria’s office in Marrickville in August 2022, he felt unmotivated due to a lack of recent work opportunities. 

Mark had been long-term unemployed and wasn’t quite ready to commit to finding employment. Connecting with Asuria Mentor Sally through our Workforce Australia Services, Mark discussed his short and long-term goals so together they could determine the best path forward, and she was confident in his ability to succeed.

Sally took the time to get to know Mark and his story, and reassure him that he could overcome his challenges. Sally suspected that Mark’s lack of motivation might have a deeper meaning, so she connected him with Asuria’s Allied Health team to give him the opportunity to receive professional mental health support.

Mark had mentioned an interest in getting a Forklift license, so given the current availability of forklift roles, Asuria enrolled him in a Forklift License Course within his first month.

Building solid foundations both mentally and practically, a spark was ignited in Mark, and he began to look at his future with a brighter outlook. Sally took advantage of Mark’s upwards trajectory, and introduced him to an opportunity he might be interested in, The Maritime Operations program.

The Maritime Operations program is a collaboration between Asuria, Babana Aboriginal Men’s Group, NRMA Marine, and Tribal Warrior, catering to Indigenous job seekers exploring new job and career opportunities on Sydney’s waterways.

Participants in this program undergo four weeks of hands-on training with Tribal Warrior aboard the Mari Nawi and Lady Northcott, which includes assisting with routine maintenance, applying basic survival skills, firefighting, and working as part of a crew.

Mark was immediately excited about this opportunity and, in November 2022, enrolled in the program. To ensure a smooth transition into the program, Asuria assisted Mark in obtaining his photo identification, travel funds and appropriate work clothing and personal protective equipment.

Mark remained focused throughout the entire program, where he picked up a wealth of practical skills and knowledge to take into future roles. Some of the certificates in his training included a Certificate I in Maritime Operations, Responsible Service of Alcohol and First Aid Certificate.

Upon completion of the program, a special graduation ceremony was held in December 2022 aboard the Mari Nawi on Sydney Harbour, where Mark and 14 other Indigenous job seekers were presented with a certificate of recognition for participating in the program.

Mark is truly pleased with the progress he has made, and shared how grateful he was for the opportunity to join the program and create a new path for his future: “The past four weeks have been life-changing, giving me a chance to learn a bunch of new skills and set myself up for jobs that I couldn’t have even dreamed of getting before I joined the course.”

Following the completion of this program, Asuria and Babana Aboriginal worked together to secure employment for Mark, which they achieved within six weeks. Mark is now a deckhand working on NRMA’s My Fast Ferry, a leading domestic transport and tourism business. Having started this role in January 2023, he has been in the role for over six months now, and is progressing well and enjoying his new workplace.

If you would like support to find and keep a job, click here to learn more about Asuria’s Workforce Australia Services.

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