Great attitude and hard work leads to job

Brendan was only part way through his second year at Bankstown NOVA Transition when he was offered a job. His Job Coach, Paul, describes Brendan as someone who works hard and is always willing to try new challenges and learn new skills.

Last year, Brendan completed  Barringtons courses in Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) and Responsible Conduct of Gambling (RCG). This enabled him to do a work placement at Bankstown Sports Club. After four weeks, his employer was so impressed with Brendan’s enthusiasm, willingness to work hard, and ability to follow instructions and ask for help that he offered him a job.

We focus on ability!

What makes NOVA Employment the best disability employment service in the country? We focus on the ability of people with disability. This is the best way to learn about job seekers' interests and skills and match these to appropriate, award-wage work. 

You may not know that NOVA is the main sponsor for the Focus On Ability Film (FOA) Festival – an international short-film competition with the theme: focus on the ability of people with disability. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do! 

Interview overview

Having a job interview can seem like a daunting hurdle on the road to becoming employed. It is certainly a critical step, which is why we do plenty of work on developing interview skills at NOVA Transition.

Another resource is NOVA Employment’s Let’s Get Working website, which has some great tips and advice about preparing for job interviews.

At Liverpool NOVA Transition we’ve been discussing how to prepare for a job interview. Here are some aspects that we came up with:

It's a goal!

At Liverpool Transition, we’ve been talking about what sort of careers we’d like, and how we can achieve our career goals. But first we went back to basics and talked about why we want jobs in the first place. We came up with four important benefits of being employed. Having a job enables us to:

  • become more self-confident
  • form friendships and bonds with others
  • build up experience
  • contribute to society.

Community services board

At Hornsby NOVA Transition, we are proud to be part of the local community. Ultimately, we hope to get work in our local community! We are interested in learning about local services and events, so we’ve set up a community services board at Transition.

Our research for the community services board included:

  • collecting pamphlets from local businesses and services
  • searching the Internet for local services and events
  • looking out for local events whenever we walk around Hornsby.

Meet Andrew: Employment Consultant

NOVA Employment Consultants (ECs) are important in helping NOVA Transition trainees to get our first job. They start getting to know us at the end of our first year at NOVA so they can better understand our skills and abilities and what jobs we’re interested in. We thought it might be fun to get to know them better too! So we interviewed EC Andrew Abrahams from NOVA’s Campbelltown office.

Trainees: What is the role of an employment consultant?

Andrew: To help people find and keep long term employment.

A great day out

Ingleburn NOVA Transition trainees had a great day out in the city recently. The trainees had been interested in Australian history, so we decided to visit the historical convict settlement on Cockatoo Island, and use the outing as an opportunity for some travel training. Building awareness of and interest in their community and culture also benefits trainees: for example, when chatting to colleagues and customers in a work environment, and being more socially confident.

We caught the train at Ingleburn, taking the Airport Line to Circular Quay. The trainees were keen to look up all the stations to make sure we caught the correct train. At Circular Quay we made our way the ferry terminal, where the trainees looked up the Cockatoo Island ferry and wharf number.

Independent living

Liverpool NOVA Transition trainees have been exploring what it means to live independently, and how they can work towards it. It’s about the transition from living at home: gaining the life skills and knowledge to become independent and self-reliant. Here’s how Cindy put it: 'Living independently means growing and inspiring without having to count on someone else for support.'

At Transition, we cover four important aspects of independent living:

Workplace diversity is good for productivity

Diversity in the workplace is good for all of us, because we learn about other values, foods, cultures and the many different ways people choose to live their lives.

Diversity is also good for workplaces. NOVA’s CEO, Martin Wren, explains why here.

Did you read it? It’s a long list!

Childcare - a dream job for three graduates

For three NOVA Transition graduates, their dreams of working in childcare have come true.

In choosing their preferred work area, Tayla, Danielle and Michaela all knew they wanted to work with people, and were keen on childcare. But identifying their career goal was only the first step. It took determination, persistence and hard work for each of the girls to find employment – and support from NOVA every step of the way.

Doing the bus stop

It's important to be able to get yourself to work once you have a job. That's one reason why travel training is a key skill that NOVA Transition trainees develop.

Once you can travel somewhere by yourself, you have much more independence. Whether you walk, drive, or catch a bus, train or taxi, you can get to work, go shopping or go out with friends without having to rely on someone else to drive you.

Travelling independently is a big step on the way to living independently. It makes getting and keeping a job so much easier; and and it’s great for your confidence – which in turn, helps you to get and keep a job. So it's a really important skill to have. 

Working wardrobe

Our clothes are a critical aspect of getting and keeping a job, and at NOVA we take it seriously. From the start, we’re expected to follow the NOVA dress code – which is business casual – whether we’re in the training room or out and about.

Campbelltown and Springwood NOVA Transition trainees have been talking about workplace clothing and have some tips to share. What we wear at NOVA Transition is very important because it says a lot about us. The way we dress represents who we are, but it also represents NOVA.

What happens at NOVA Transition?

You’ve heard that NOVA Transition is about exploring your job choices and getting work ready. To give you an idea of what it’s really like, Rockdale trainees share some of what they’ve been up to this year. 


In our orientation program, we get to know each other, build friendships and learn about what’s expected at NOVA Transition. This year at Rockdale, we welcomed new trainees Rodger, George and Steven, and new Job Coach, Sam, to join second-year trainees Michelle and Alex.

Find your transferable skills and stand tall

Corey, a second-year trainee at Engadine NOVA Transition has come a long way since he first started at NOVA. He and his Job Coach Karen explain how transferable skills helped him on the journey and how Corey learned how to identify his transferable skills.

But first: what are transferable skills? They’re any skills and abilities you have acquired during your life that you can use in a job. You might have developed these skills and abilities anywhere – at school, in leisure activities like reading, hobbies or sports; at home or at NOVA Transition. The trick is to see how you could use them in a job.

Learnings from NOVA Transition

The Transition training room is a hands-on learning environment where we focus not just on work skills, but also on behaviour, attitude and physical wellbeing to support a working lifestyle. 

As these stories from St Marys NOVA Transition trainees show, learning happens on many levels. Trainees might practise making decisions as a group while they explore acceptable workplace behaviour, for example; or pick up technology tips while learning about clothes for work.

What's my scene?

So you want a job, but you’re not quite sure what sort of work is the right ‘fit’ for you? Rest assured, you’re not alone! At NOVA Transition we provide loads of opportunities to learn about industries and try out different jobs through work experience.

But you can begin to explore what's best for you right away. There are plenty of online tools available to help guide you. NOVA’s own Let’s Get Working website suggests 10 questions to ask yourself, and the first few make an ideal starting point.

Transitions: why they're important

Making the transition from school to work is a big step. In this video, NOVA Employment’s CEO, Martin Wren, explains why having support during this transition is so important for success.

The social skills we learn at school are also core skills for work, says Martin:

  • Turn up on time
  • Get something done
  • Be part of a team.

But these skills can be lost if students don’t continue to practice them after school finishes (if you don’t go on to work or further study, for example). 

What does this button do?

Would you know how to sew on a button? And what does that have to do with getting a job anyway? 

While skills for independent living are important in finding and keeping a great job, learning to sew on a button might, in fact, have more to do with becoming employed than you'd think. 

When Bankstown NOVA Transition trainee Talia lost a button on her jacket, the group used the opportunity to do a sewing class. Together they bought a sewing kit from Lincraft, and Job coach Paul brought fabric from home to practise with.

Personal wellbeing: it's a balancing act

Health and wellbeing: it’s something we tend to reflect on at this time as we take a break from the hustle and bustle of the year.

Our wellbeing impacts everything we do, which is one reason why looking after ourselves is a focus at NOVA Transition – not just now, but right through the year. At Katoomba NOVA Transition, we explored why it’s important to maintain good health and wellbeing.

Three benefits of work experience

NOVA Transition places great value on work experience. Among other things, it allows young job seekers to taste life at work, develop their career goals – and realise what they have to offer, which is a terrific confidence booster. 

Windsor NOVA Transition trainees, Bethany, Amber and Alex did work experience at Hawkesbury District Health Service (Hawkesbury Hospital), learning about roles and tasks in various departments.

‘It was really interesting learning about the different chemicals and how they are used to clean different areas,’ said Bethany who hopes to work in aged care. ‘For example, red-bottle chemicals are only to be used in bathrooms and blue-bottle chemicals are for the room only.’ 

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