Finding work after experiencing homelessness

Before making a move to Queensland at the age of 30, Ken had drifted around Australia. A ‘bit of a lost soul’ in his own words.

He travelled up to Maryborough and started working in the southern pine plantations of the Fraser Coast, where he settled into a permanent lifestyle.

Forestry was a job Ken loved. But he made mistakes. A serious addiction cost him his job of 15 years, as well as his home and he ended up reliant on friends for a place to crash.

At rock bottom, he made a significant decision. Leaving Maryborough behind him, a few years ago Ken headed for a fresh start in Queensland’s Central Highlands.

“If you have negativity in your life, you need to get rid of it and find positivity in friends and the things you do,” says Ken. “It makes you feel better as a person.”

With help and support from the MAX Employment team in Emerald, Ken secured voluntary work at PCYC Emerald.

He performed so well he was offered paid work and he’s now using his own experiences to help mentor young people in tough circumstances. He’s also doing a qualification in sports coaching.

PCYC Emerald club manager, Sergeant Julia Henderson said “Ken is possibly the hardest working person I have ever met.”

“His positive outlook on life and ‘can-do’ attitude make him an absolute pleasure to work with and we feel lucky to have him on our team at PCYC Emerald.”