Sue-anne was a job seeker with MAX Employment Stones Corner, QLD. She overcame homelessness and an abusive childhood to find stable, ongoing employment and raise her three daughters.
Sue-anne has overcome countless hurdles to get her life back on track
It was pretty bad growing up. Mum was an alcoholic and she lived with physical abuse. She got stabbed by one of her ex-partners. I remember standing in front of him when he had the knife. I had to escape, and the only way I could was by running away every night.
I was about 11 when I ran. I’d meet people and get to stay with them occasionally, but mainly I slept in port racks in schools and try to keep warm. It was just about survival, at home and on the streets. I'd take a lot, you had to do pretty horrible things to get by, you don't feel like a very good person.
Mum was lost. It’s not until now that I’ve grown up I can understand where Mum came from and why she made the choices she made. She didn’t have very good skills or anything to make good choices. But I guess they were her choices to make.
Until a few years ago, I didn’t have any confidence. I was always judging myself, I wouldn’t look in the mirror when I did my hair. I tried to not look at myself. And now I look at myself and I’m not perfect, but who is in this world?
I got offered to do a Traffic Control course through MAX Employment, I jumped on it and just hoped I’d do okay. Their psychologist showed me that I could do stuff that I didn’t think I could do. I’m not educated, I didn’t even do Year 8. The doubt creeps back in, but I just said “okay, I’m going to give it a go” and my trainer Ian kept telling me that I was going to make a great traffic controller.
Sue-anne with her Traffic Controller trainer Ian.
This job has given me so much already. I’m buying a house soon. It’s stressful, but I’m so glad. I can provide stability for my three daughters.
It wasn’t until I was about 30 that my relationship with my mum got better. I absolutely adore my mum. I spend a lot of time with her.
Sometimes I can’t believe how far I’ve come. I can’t believe that I’m here at all. I honestly never thought I would have been. When people hear about my story most people say I should be on the streets, drug addicted and messed up.
It’s only because of all the positivity around me that I’ve come through it. You push all the good stuff away, but later on in life those voices kept popping up in my head. I’m grateful for that, and I’m grateful for those people.
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