With six children under the age of 13 in her care, Amy left the Hunter region to escape threats of violence from a neighbour.
Arriving back at the Central Coast, a place she’d spent much of her childhood, Amy was determined to provide the best support possible for her family.
Upon her arrival at the Central Coast, Amy connected with the MAX ParentsNext team.
Although she was eligible for an exemption, Amy’s determination to find work and support her family meant she participated in the program voluntarily.
Her Participation Plan Officer Kelly supported Amy by refreshing her resume to shine a spotlight on Amy’s various skills and work and volunteer experience.
Amy was able to bring a range of experiences to a potential employer including seven years volunteering in women’s ministry and opportunity shops at the Salvation Army Corps in the Hunter along with prior retail experience.
“Kelly was very supportive which was exactly what I needed. She told me I could come to her with anything and that she was there to help me in any way I needed,” says Amy.
It took just a few weeks from when Amy joined ParentsNext to when she was offered her first interview. She initially missed out on two roles, but Kelly continued to cheer Amy on and when she was offered an interview at the grocery store, Amy recalls the encouragement she received from Kelly.
“She reminded me to stay calm and be myself,” says Amy.
Amy shone and was offered the role. Kelly continued to provide support, helping Amy with clothing and shoes suitable for her new job.
Amy’s six children are aged between kindergarten and year eight and like it is for many other parents, raising children and working can be a challenge.
Amy finds the flexibility of her role works for her and her family. She also achieved a promotion within just a few months of starting work at the store.
Within the local Salvation Army Corps Amy now calls home, she has a passion for empowering other women and bringing some of the support services she helped deliver in the Hunter, to the Central Coast.
“A lot of women have been through so much they start to believe what others have told them, that they’re worthless and incapable of doing anything except what they’re told,” says Amy.
“I’m passionate about helping them to realise their own worth, helping them to budget and manage other areas of their lives. I love encouraging them and helping them to know they are worthy, and capable and enough – just as they are,” she says.
Image: Amy Elbourne, Kelly Mungoven and Lisa Norrgard
For now, Amy enjoys Central Coast life with her children, taking them to the local lake, fishing and exploring other areas that brought her joy as a child.
She’s also exploring with them what it means to be Indigenous after discovering as an adult that her family has Indigenous heritage and one of her ancestors was part of the Stolen Generation.
Kelly shares: “Amy is a star, doing everything she can to be a role model to her kids and other women experiencing adversity. She’s a delight to work with.”
Congratulations Amy! We’re delighted to have played a part in your journey and look forward to seeing you invest in the women of the Central Coast community.
Find out more about our ParentsNext program.