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Work for the Dole program proving a great success in Mackay

It’s been a hectic five months for the BUSY At Work, Work for the Dole (WFD) Coordinator, Kristy Gostelow and Administration Support Officer (WFD) Debbie Hildebrand since opening in Mackay on 1 July this year.

Debbie said they were pleased with the success they had achieved so far which has seen job seekers involved in activities such as maintenance work, gardening rehabilitation of public parks, office administration and retail work.

“It’s been an exciting time taking on the jobactive Work for the Dole Coordinator’s contract in Mackay. We currently have 55 host organisations with 312 placements in Employment Services for the Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday regions secured since July.”

“Some of the successful projects have included the Girudala, Dancing Together Initiative, the Mackay Aboriginal & Islander Justice Alternatives Group (MAIJAG), the Bowen Visitors Centre and Skills Training Mackay.”

“The current projects include 33 hosts with individual activities and 22 hosts with group activities and some of the hosts for the individual activities include the RSPCA, Eastern Swans Football Club, Collinsville Golf Club, Mackay Community Visitors Association, Ideal Placement and Victoria Park State School,” Ms Hildebrand said.

Debbie said she was particularly proud of the WFD program for the Indigenous community organisation, Giruldala.

“Seventeen job seekers are currently participating in the development of the Bush Tucker Trail on Flagstaff Hill in Bowen. These participants have made a real difference and helped to bring this small not for profit organisation back to life. If not for this program the Girudala Coffee Shop and Community Garden would certainly have closed their doors,” Ms Hildebrand said.
Throughout the project the participants will have the opportunity to upskill their knowledge base, learn some techniques in civil construction and landscaping, receive training and hopefully gain employment.
Debbie said they had received positive feedback from the host organisations regarding the WFD program.

“In general we have found that the host organisations now have more time to focus on the community’s needs, especially where job seekers have been placed in administration positions.”

“So far the program has helped four job seekers gain permanent employment while another was promoted to a (WFD) Supervisor’s role. Another two participants have also entered into a one year full time “Work Skills Traineeship” through “Skilling Queenslanders for Work” offered by the Queensland Government.

Debbie said part of the success of the WFD program had come about through the collaborative approach with the jobactive Employment Services offices in the region.

“We have regular provider meetings with clear communication objectives with representatives from the three jobactive offices. This strategy has been one of the main contributing factors to the success of the WFD program across the region.”

BUSY At Work encourages other not for profit organisations and local, state and Commonwealth Government agencies to become hosts for projects.

BUSY At Work CEO, Paul Miles said he was pleased with the success of the Work for the Dole program in the Mackay employment region.

“The outcomes of the various projects has not only enhanced the local community but provided real job prospects for local job seekers.”

“Work for Dole places job seekers in activities which help them develop work-like experiences that employers need. The program also gives participants the experience of giving back to the community,” Mr Miles said.

To find out if your organisation is eligible to offer a Work for the Dole placement, you can contact BUSY At Work’s, Work for the Dole Coordinator.
For further information call BUSY At Work 13 BUSY (13 28 79) or visit

The WFD program is an initiative of the Australian Government and administered by the Department of Employment.


MEDIA CONTACT: Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator
0438 173 960

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