About Us

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Workforce Australia Local Jobs

Workforce Australia Local Jobs is funded by the Australian Government Department of Employment and Workplace Relations and operates in 51 regions across Australia. The program has a particular focus on reskilling, upskilling and employment pathways to meet local labour market demands.

Employment Facilitators are on the ground in all of the Employment Regions, including Barwon, and bring together local employment and skills services, employers and community organisations to connect people to training, job opportunities and support services. They focus on connecting, collaborating and building capacity within the community to help meet local workforce needs.

Each Employment Facilitator has access to flexible funding to support small employment activities and collaborative community initiatives.

We recognise local knowledge gets people back into jobs quickly.

Workforce Australia Local Jobs includes the following key elements:

  • local Employment Facilitator
  • local Support Officer
  • Local Jobs and Skills Taskforce
  • Local Jobs Plan
  • Local Recovery Fund to address employment and training priorities and identify opportunities to better skill individuals to meet local employer demand
  • Access to a Local Initiatives Fund to support and deliver small scale local activities to respond to community priorities that improve local labour market functioning

Recognising that labour markets vary across Australia, local labour market data is provided by the National Skills Commission and National Careers Institute. This ensures the Local Jobs and Skills Taskforce understands shortages and predicted future trends to drive local training responses informed by evidence.

Workforce Australia Local Jobs runs until 30 June 2025.

The Barwon Region

Expanding over the lands of the Wadawurrung and Eastern Marr peoples, the Barwon region includes the Local Government Areas of Greater Geelong, Surf Coast Shire, Queenscliffe and parts of Golden Plains.

Geelong is the largest regional city in Victoria and serves as the major centre for many of the surrounding areas providing diverse employment opportunities. The largest employing industries are Retail Trade, Health Care and Social Assistance, Manufacturing, Construction, and Education and Training.

Projects commenced or planned for the region include the construction of the Nyaal Banyul Geelong Convention and Event Centre, the Regional Rail Revival Project Geelong Line Upgrade, the Western Plains Correctional Centre, the Greater Avalon Business Park, and the Barwon Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

Meet the Team

As the Community and Industry Manager at The Gordon TAFE, Carley leads both the Local Jobs Program and the Skilling the Bay program, led by The Gordon and delivered in partnership with Deakin University to prepare Geelong for the jobs of the future through education, employment and innovation. The project aims to support the future prosperity of Geelong by delivering a range of initiatives and working with community partners to focus on skills development and education.

Carley has a strong background in workforce development and has worked on numerous strategic projects and initiatives, including her work overseas as a Training and Development Specialist in a multinational organisation, where she was responsible for the development of an in-company learning centre and facilitating virtual classroom technology within an advanced manufacturing facility.

Carley is passionate about creating pathways through education and training into sustainable employment in the Barwon, enhancing individual and community prosperity. In her downtime, you can find Carley supporting ‘the Blues’ and at local sporting events with her children.

Tracey is a qualified careers counsellor with a background in educational leadership across the secondary and higher education sectors. Tracey has previously led the region’s Skills and Jobs Centre, a service introduced to provide free and impartial careers counselling and employment support for all Victorians.

Tracey is passionate about promoting lifelong learning and increasing engagement in employment and training. As Employment Facilitator for the Barwon Region, Tracey looks forward to creating and maintaining professional relationships to work collaboratively for the betterment of all community members in our region.

After spending a number of years working in Human Resources in the Alberta Rockies in Canada, Tracey loves to snowboard and get to the mountains whenever she can. However, you’ll often find her at the beach with her family in any free time.

Michael recently joined our team having previously worked in Forest Management. Michael has an MBA and a strong background working with schools and local community groups to promote both the Forestry and Environmental Management sectors. He is excited to put his prior industry experience to good use and contribute to promoting employment in the Barwon Region.

Local Jobs and Skills Taskforce

Each Employment Region has a Local Jobs and Skills Taskforce, chaired by an Employment Facilitator. The Barwon Taskforce consists of 9 members that represent, and are reflective of, their community. The Barwon taskforce includes local stakeholders such as employers and industry groups, community organisations, education and training providers, employment services providers, and state government representatives. Taskforce members volunteer their time and are highly valued for bringing their industry or community perspectives to the taskforce, and for informing local initiatives in their regions.

The Barwon Local Jobs and Skills Taskforce meets regularly to develop a shared understanding of their region. They develop solutions to help more of the community to connect with quality job opportunities, improve their skills and assist employers to meet their labour and skills needs.

The taskforce plays a central role in connecting, coordinating and leveraging existing programs and aligning efforts on the ground to ensure collaboration is maximised, duplication is minimised, and outcomes are achieved. They work with the Employment Facilitator to develop and implement the Barwon Region’s Local Jobs Plan. The plan identifies key employment and training priorities and provides a framework for how to assist individuals and employers.

Matt began his journey in Employment Services in 2006, now achieving over 16 years in the industry has a strong knowledge of how Commonwealth and State Employment services operate. Matt has held Senior Management positions within Jobs Services Australia, now formally known as Workforce Australia, managing Metropolitan regions and Barwon regions as a part of his portfolio.

Matt then progressed to be the National Program Manager for Bounce Australia for 7 years, working closely with executives, management, staff and jobseekers within JobActive and Disability Services. Matt managed over 30 Coaches who delivered Behavioural Based Training to Employment Service Providers around Australia, New Zealand and USA. Matt then led a large pilot leading up to the new Workforce Australia Contract through the Department of Education, Skills and Employments economic division, where soft skills were measured to understand what impact these had on jobseekers engagement and willingness to become employed.

Matt worked with the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions as the Senior Coordinator of several regions including Ovens Murray, Mallee, Wimmera Sth Mallee, Barwon and Great South Coast before working as Acting Manager from December 2022 through to June 2023.

For the past 8 months, Matt has been working as a Senior Stakeholder Engagement Officer for Apprenticeships Victoria. He has been a strong part of the Local Taskforces in the Goulburn Murray under Facilitator Brendan Sheridan and also in the Wimmera Sth Mallee Taskforce under Facilitator Tony Laria.

With over 10 years’ experience working within the tourism industry, Brendan has led the development and implementation of various short- and long-term strategies that strive to strengthen destination performance and industry capability.

These plans, which include the four-year Corporate Plan for Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine Inc and commencement of the 10 year Destination Master Plan, shine a way forward for the industry, an industry that was hardest hit by the pandemic, with a strong focus on recovery initiatives, mental health and wellbeing, collaboration and sustainable destination development.

In Brendan’s current role he oversees the strategic planning, financial management, insights and industry strengthening activities, ensuring the region flourishes as a sustainable destination into the future. Prior to this, Brendan was the Tourism Marketing Executive of the Melbourne Cricket Club, leading the development and execution of the marketing strategy for both the Australian Sports Museum and Melbourne Cricket Ground tourism experiences.

As the Services Manager with gforce, Christine oversees the ParentsNext, AASN and Jobs Victoria Advocate programs. With over 20 years of combined experience in staffing services, employment services and recruitment, Christine is a positive, results driven professional.

Having held various positions across these sectors, Christine has developed expertise in the areas of people management, diversity and inclusion, account management, customer relations, training and project management.

Christine has managed several teams to deliver government contracts in Employment Services and has worked with various stakeholders at both Federal and Local government.

Christine is particularly passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion; helping people ultimately achieve the benefits of employment within the communities and regions we operate.

Jo has an extensive background in Tourism and Hospitality and has been engaged as a Manager at Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism (GORRT) for the past 7 years. She’s passionate about the Visitor Economy and contributing to the development, management and market positioning of the Great Ocean Road and its surrounding areas.

Jo’s been instrumental in driving the development of the Tourism Jobs Bank initiatives and works closely with Tourism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine (TGGB) on regional initiatives.

As well as Jo’s extensive experience in the Tourism Industry, she boasts a range of skills in Financial Services and Property that add to her ability to develop, innovate and consult the Barwon Local Jobs and Skills Taskforce.

Brooke holds a Diploma in Youth Work and has extensive experience working in the Mental Health sector with a focus on Youth Employment.

Brooke comes to the Local Jobs and Skills Taskforce with over 20 years’ experience working in the Community sector addressing the barriers to employment. Brooke has worked with some of the areas largest organisations on the implementation of Trainee and Apprenticeship programs.

The GROW (Growing Regional Opportunities for Work) network is made up of businesses, government and community organisations working together in the G21 Region, Bendigo, Ballarat, Shepparton and Gippsland to create regional pathways to employment and more job opportunities for people with barriers to work. Supporting equity and a stronger regional economy through social procurement.

Ricky is a proud Dja Dja Wurrung man, a father of two daughters, a lifelong Dees supporter and the Managing Director of Wan-Yaari Aboriginal Consultancy Services.

Wan-Yaari is an Aboriginal owned and operated business providing professional and empowering services to the Aboriginal Community and local organisations. “Wan-Yaari” means to Listen, Learn and Understand, which underpins their philosophy in designing and delivering programs in an inclusive, engaging and culturally appropriate way.

Ricky has over 12 years’ experience working within the Aboriginal Community in Education, Employment and Justice sectors, and demonstrates the very highest standards of management, administration and governance. He is a highly dedicated and passionate Aboriginal consultant who is committed to driving work to address disadvantages, reduce Aboriginal unemployment rates, improve pathways to employment and make a real difference within the local community.  

Wayne has lived and contributed to the Geelong region for over 30 years, and he brings a depth of experience in the fields of education, business, strategic change management and community engagement.

He has experience in management roles in the VET sector, jobactive network, and business start-ups throughout Australia. Wayne’s focus continues to be on engaging with the community and developing positive outcomes for the community.

Bec is a proud Gunai Kurnai woman, living and working on Wadawurrung Land. She’s the Aboriginal Workforce Officer at Barwon Health and has been in this role since October of 2022. Prior to this, Bec was a Youth Vocational Specialist at Barwon Health for 6 months and worked in a range of roles at the Starlight Children’s Foundation Australia over a 6-year period, including Wish Experience Coordinator, Family Relationship Coordinator and Partnerships Coordinator. Bec also has a background in hospitality and event management.

Bec’s current role provides her with an amazing opportunity to support the local Aboriginal community in regards to recruitment, workplace wellbeing and professional development. With a wide variety of roles available throughout Barwon Health, Bec endeavours to promote Barwon Health as a great place to work and advocate for a culturally safe environment for Aboriginal people to stay for many years to come. Bec works closely with current and future Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and hopes to walk alongside their managers to ensure cultural wellbeing is at the forefront within the workplace and throughout supervisions.

Bec’s a member of the Wurru-Ki Ngitj Aboriginal Health Gathering Group and Geelong Aboriginal Employment Taskforce.

Prior to her inclusion onto the Taskforce, Bec was proactive in engaging with the Local Jobs program in the Barwon Region. She’s supportive of events and works collaboratively within the region to provide meaningful pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples into the health sector. She has innovative ideas to support local organisations and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and her work extends well beyond Barwon Health into the broader community, seeking to improve educational and employment outcomes for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Her values and her work strongly align with the strategic priorities in the Barwon Local Jobs Plan.

Maurice is the Regional Manager for atWork Australia in the Barwon Region. He’s worked in the employment service sector since 2015 and has led teams in the local area to deliver sustainable employment outcomes. Throughout this time, he has worked with and built relationships with community organisations, businesses, training services, and government. Maurice is passionate about improving employment outcomes in the Barwon region and brings this passion to the Taskforce when working on our shared objectives.

Maurice is an experienced Employment Services manager and brings a high level of knowledge on supporting jobseekers in the region. Maurice has links to major employers and community organisations in the region, including the Chamber of Commerce, Norlane Community Centre, Worksafe, Cotton On and the City of Greater Geelong. Maurice has been proactive in engaging with Workforce Australia Local Jobs in the Barwon region and was the lead provider on a successful Local Recovery Fund project in the region, the HOPES program with Calibre Workforce.

Maurice is passionate about supporting individuals to achieve sustainable employment outcomes and employers with their workforce requirements.

Local Jobs Plan

The Employment Facilitator and Taskforce have developed a Barwon Region Local Jobs Plan, which outlines employment priorities and actions. It can be used by individuals, organisations and communities to understand the regions local labour market and help inform local initiatives that assist their community.

Local data and insights ensure the Local Jobs Plan reflects the skills and workforce needs of the region.

Local Jobs Plans are updated regularly and published below;

Barwon Local Jobs Plan

Priority areas

  1. Maximise the benefits of existing Australian, Victorian and Local government programs, to create pathways to employment in current and growth industries, focusing on Health Care and Social Assistance, Retail Trade, Construction, Manufacturing, Education and Training, and Hospitality and Tourism sectors.
  2. Maximise the extent to which local positions are filled by local job seekers, to meet the needs of major infrastructure projects. Generate opportunities for skill development, through apprenticeships, traineeships and skills training in partnership with local tertiary education providers and business.
  3. Reduce barriers to participation and employment for vulnerable cohorts, including long term unemployed, parents returning to the workforce, culturally and linguistically diverse and refugee backgrounds, people with a disability, youth and mature age.
  4. Boost employment and training opportunities in priority areas among the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in collaboration with and led by local Indigenous organisations.
  5. Facilitate and support the transition of workers to participate in the workforce following COVID, including through self-employment, increasing hours of employment for those who want to work more, and exploring flexible work options to assist with industry recovery.