ETC supports disability job search

ETC’s Disability Employment Services (DES) Program.

JOURDI from Coffs Harbour has just secured a job as a Customer Service Representative for a rental car company at her local airport, a disability-inclusive company which allows for her health challenges.

She’s been searching for a job for the past fourteen months, struggling mentally and financially, and is excited to be back in the workforce earning her own salary.

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“Before I found this job, I felt like I had no purpose in life and like I was an embarrassment and disappointment to my family,” Jourdi told News Of The Area.

“But once I started work, I felt like a weight had finally lifted off my shoulders.

“I had found a purpose for my days.

“I felt productive and proud of myself. I felt like I could finally start doing things I couldn’t do before, as I couldn’t afford to.

“I was finally becoming a ‘doer’ rather than a ‘dreamer’,”

Jourdi said the best part about her job is being able to use her brain every day and constantly challenge herself.

“I also set little goals for myself every week to learn new things or improve my current skills.

“I’ve also gained a bit of a social life with my work colleagues, both at the car rental company and at the airport.”

With a long-term goal of becoming a Primary School Teacher, Jourdi is now also studying Bachelor of Education (Primary) full time online through Southern Cross University.

“I’m so happy that I’m finally working towards my goal.

“My plan is to finish my studies and be teaching my own classes by the time I’m 30.”

Jourdi’s struggles started with an undiagnosed medical condition called Chiari Malformation, a condition in which brain tissue extends into the spinal canal.

This condition caused her to have struggles with basic functions.

“Before I knew that I was suffering with a brain issue, I tried to work, but it was hard.

“I was having black outs and seizures, but I still tried to work.

“That was my first issue.”

After having brain surgery, she was on the mend.

But trying to get back into the workforce after rehabilitation was difficult.

“I felt like people saw my previous condition and shied away from hiring me because I was still getting back to my normal self after being out of action for nine months,” she said.

Jourdi was then referred to ETC’s Disability Employment Services (DES) Program for further support.

The DES Program helps people with an injury, illness or disability to find and keep a job.

On top of her medical condition and rehabilitation, Jourdi was also trying to overcome barriers including anxiety, depression and low confidence.

ETC Jobs Advisor Georgina Lock started working with Jourdi in early 2022 and began helping her break through these barriers.

“ETC helped me find more confidence in myself,” said Jourdi.

“Georgina especially made me feel like I was able to achieve whatever I wanted to.”

After having dealt with multiple DES providers over the years, Jourdi previously dreaded going to appointments.

She felt like her providers weren’t listening to her, like she was another number to them.

“But from my first appointment with ETC I felt really welcomed and extremely comfortable.

“It felt as though I was actually listened to about my health struggles, anxiety, depression and goals for the future.

“I would really look forward to and enjoy my appointments with Georgina.”

If this story resonates with you, you can contact ETC on 1800 007 400, or find out more about the DES program at


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