25 Years And Going Strong

Lance began his career as a trainee with the Water Resources Commission in 1991.  Soon after was moved to the Department of Primary Industries (now the Department of Agriculture and Fishing, DAF) and has recently been presented with his “25 Years of Service” Certificate. Lance currently manages the DAF Tor Street Car Pool and is the “star” SAP Invoice data entry officer.

Lance jokes that, “I am the only male Admin Officer in a team of nine ladies at the Tor Street office, and being hearing impaired has probably helped me to stay sane in this great team!”

Lance is always the first to volunteer when an emergency response is required, and has participated in Equine Influenza, Red Witch Weed and Panama responses, using his data entry and purchasing skills. In addition to his regular duties, Lance completes field work during times of peak demand including a field trip to Mackay, during the Red Witch Weed Response, where he was the first officer that day to find one of the offending Weeds!

Sign For Work assists Lance in the workplace, providing Auslan interpreting for on-going training, as well as during for an intensive period of major systems change within the department. Sign For Work has also provided on-the-job support and advocacy throughout Lance’s time as a Sign For Work client.

Sign For Work offers Lance a big congratulations on achieving 25 years!

Lance photo

Lance receiving his ’25 Years of Service’ Certificate from John McDiarmid, General Manager – Customer & Business Services

By |July 29th, 2016|Media|Comments Off on 25 Years And Going Strong

Study to Success

Lisa registered with Sign For Work in November 2014 after she had been looking for work for over 2 years. In April 2015 Sign For Work were successful in finding Lisa an Administration/Cleaning position with the opportunity to do a traineeship in Certificate III in Business Administration, through Golden West Apprentice Centre in Toowoomba.

Lisa was given study books to take home and complete. If she had any questions or concerns regarding the learning materials she was able to contact her trainer by email or request assistance from Sign For Work staff.

Tanya, Lisa’s trainer from College Australia in Brisbane, would travel to Toowoomba once a month to provide one on one training sessions to Lisa at the Golden West Apprenticeship Centre office. Sign For Work provided interpreter services for these training sessions, along with interpreter services to facilitate workplace communication and on the job support.

Due to the assistance provided by all parties, as well as Lisa’s continued efforts in completing her work and study, Lisa was successful in gaining a Certificate III in Business Administration in March 2016. Sign For Work would like to congratulate Lisa on this achievement and are proud to have been a part of this notable success story.

Lisa with traineeship certificates

Lisa with her Certificate III in Business Administration Certificate of Completion.


By |April 12th, 2016|Media|Comments Off on Study to Success

Working together leads to success!

Jennifer is a skilled bookkeeper who had been looking for work for almost 2 years. Jennifer’s story shows how persistence, effort, and help from the right service has resulted in a great outcome. Jennifer transferred to Sign For Work from another Disability Employment Services provider in November of last year, and from the hard work from both herself and her case manager in applying for as many roles as possible and sending out expressions of interest, Jennifer was contacted to attend an interview for a bookkeeping role with a flooring company. In her own words, Jennifer tells her story of job search success below:

“I am Jennifer and I am a qualified bookkeeper using MYOB programme.

Many years ago I put myself through business college as I was dissatisfied with my, then current, job and thrived to do something different and better. After 3 months in business college I landed a job with a caravan manufacturer which lasted 11 years under that ownership. The business then changed hands and after 2 years of working for the new owners, the business closed its doors and we were all made redundant.  I was then offered a job with another caravan manufacturer which I took. Over the years that I worked with both of those business I was involved in a lot of on-site and off-site training with MYOB which increased my skills & experience.

In 2013 my husband & I moved to the Toowoomba region. I thought with my excellent qualification & experience I would find a job easily but that was not the case.  I registered with an employment agency for assistance and while they did help to a degree,  I also searched the internet for vacancies on my own and I have lost count of how many jobs I applied for and the number of interviews I have attended.

One thing from the job search experience stood out for me, which was the negative  attitude I felt displayed to me by the interview panel at many of the interviews I attended. The interviewers often questioned me about my deafness and asked things like “how can we communicate with you?”.  It really made me feel disillusioned and my self-esteem was taking a battering.

Toward the end of last year I switched over to Sign For Work, and I went in with high hopes of them helping me to find work.  I found the Sign For Work staff very positive and helpful each time I met up with them for job search appointments, then one day I got an SMS from them saying I got an interview. I thought “Oh yeah! But what if the employer ask the same old questions about my deafness?”.

On the day of the interview, a Sign For Work staff member attended to interpret for me. I wasn’t nervous or excited as I was mentally preparing myself for another rejection. But the interview went well and the employer asked me when I could start. I just could not believe I finally got a job! On the first day I started work, both my Case Manager and an Interpreter from Sign For Work were there to help us with, on the job training and, any questions I needed to ask about the work I needed to do.  I have been working for this small flooring business for over two months now, I enjoy the work and the staff are friendly and helpful.”


Jennifer in her new bookkeeping role at the flooring company

By |May 12th, 2015|Media|Comments Off on Working together leads to success!

Success for this ‘pack’

The Sign For Work team supported Jessica, who is deaf, in her search for employment.  Jessica is now very happy in her new role at Urban Paws Doggy Daycare & Pet Services and shared her experiences:

“I love animals and dogs are my favourite. My first job was working with animals but I was being bullied in the workplace. I had to move on and I was then out of work for around seven months. A friend told me Sign For Work was the best place to go. They helped me when I was looking for work, got me into a Certificate 1 course in Grooming and helped set everything up with Urban Paws. I knew one of the business owners, Roger, from my old job and that helped. I started last October and since then, the Sign For Work team have visited and supported me with interpreting and helped other staff with deafness awareness training. I had nothing like that in my old job. At Urban Paws, I am a dog handler and grooming assistant. I am learning how to do different hairstyles. I want to say thank you to Roger and Melinda. I love working at Urban Paws with them. It’s great!”

Urban Paws business owner Roger De Payva says, “I used to be Jessica’s manager in another business six years ago so I knew what she could bring to Urban Paws.  Jessica may have lost one of her senses but I think it has made her stronger in her communication with dogs. She has this energy around them and they love her. The communication is all about body language. You don’t need to talk. It is a natural thing I see in Jessica – that quietness and calmness. Some other people may not have given her a chance but it was meant to be that Jessica would work here. We all fit together so well. We have no problems passing on messages to her and all the team are comfortable working with Jess. Now she is part of our pack. We hope Jessica will stay at Urban Paws and be with us for the long term.”

Roger’s partner Melinda De Payva added, “Sign for Work has been very helpful in assisting our company with staff. The onsite support and follow up has been very helpful to our team and we would have no hesitation in recommending Sign for Work to any other organisation which is looking for staff.”

Jessica with some of the dogs she loves working with. Thanks to Urban Paws for this photograph.

Jessica with some of the dogs she loves working with.
Photograph credit to Urban Paws.

By |April 29th, 2015|Media|Comments Off on Success for this ‘pack’

National Standards for Disability Services

An Auslan version of the National Standards for Disability Services created by Sign For Work.

The National Standards for Disability Services are:

1. Rights:
The service promotes individual rights to freedom of expression, self-determination and decision-making and actively prevents abuse, harm, neglect and violence.
2. Participation and Inclusion:
The service works with individuals and families, friends and carers to promote opportunities for meaningful participation and active inclusion in society.
3. Individual Outcomes:
Services and supports are assessed, planned, delivered and reviewed to build on individual strengths and enable individuals to reach their goals.
4. Feedback and Complaints:
Regular feedback is sought and used to inform individual and organisation-wide service reviews and improvement.
5. Service Access:
The service manages access, commencement and leaving a service in a transparent, fair, equal and responsive way.
6. Service Management:
The service has effective and accountable service management and leadership to maximise outcomes for individuals.
By |February 25th, 2015|Media|Comments Off on National Standards for Disability Services

Deaf People DO have Interesting Jobs in Darwin

This short preview highlights a number of Deaf people in professional occupations throughout Darwin. The viewer will get a short but honest impression of Deaf people doing a variety of jobs. It is hoped that this will provide young Deaf people with a perspective on the types of work they can do in the future.

By |December 16th, 2014|Media|Comments Off on Deaf People DO have Interesting Jobs in Darwin

Deaf people DO have interesting jobs PART 2!

Part 2 of these short clips highlights a number of deaf people in professional occupations. The viewer will get a short but honest impression of deaf people doing a variety of jobs. It is hoped that this will provide young deaf people with a perspective on the types of work they can do in the future.

By |January 24th, 2013|Media|Comments Off on Deaf people DO have interesting jobs PART 2!

Deaf people DO have interesting jobs!

This short preview highlights a number of Deaf people in professional occupations. The viewer will get a short but honest impression of Deaf people doing a variety of jobs. It is hoped that this will provide young Deaf people with a perspective on the types of work they can do in the future.

By |December 21st, 2012|Media|Comments Off on Deaf people DO have interesting jobs!