Ronald Smith named finalist for NESA Achiever of the Year

Ronald Smith named finalist for NESA Achiever of the Year


Ronald Smith (far right) with the Sodexo VTEC group

Ronald Smith was named a finalist for the 2016 Achiever of the Year at the NESA National Employment Services Awards for Excellence. NESA (National Employment Services Association) is the peak body for the Australian employment and related services industry, sponsored by the federal Department of Employment. This award recognises high achievers who have overcome adversity in their journey to employment.

As a 27 year old Indigenous Australian who left school after year 10, Ronald faced a number of barriers to his employment including mental health issues, a lack of confidence, homelessness, his health, and challenging family circumstances. In spite of these challenges, Ronald committed to finding himself employment. Ronald worked closely with the atWork team to identify his barriers and formulate a plan to enable him to achieve his goals. Ronald also adopted a healthier lifestyle which ultimately resulted in an incredible weight loss of 34kg.

Ronald commenced with Vocational Training and Employment Centre (VTEC), which offers Indigenous job seekers guaranteed jobs once pre-employment vocational training is successfully completed. VTEC provided access to training opportunities, which when completed successfully, led Ronald to guaranteed work. Ronald subsequently enrolled in a Certificate II in Cleaning Operations and White Card in 2013, leading to his role commencing in August 2013 with Morris Corp. He completed a Certificate II in Hospitality and Responsible Service of Alcohol Certificate in 2015, which enabled him to begin his present role with Sodexo.

Ronald has been employed with Sodexo for over a year, in a fly-in, fly-out Service Attendant role. He’s gained valuable skills in customer service, communication, housekeeping, occupational health and safety, and food handling. commencement with Sodexo through atWork Australia marked the beginning of a new phase in his life. 

Work has helped change Ronald’s life – he now has qualifications, an income, skills, experience and the confidence to positon him well for the future and enable him to pursue his dreams. He sees a long term career path with Sodexo, and knows that the company will support him in achieving his goals. Ronald has expressed an interest in moving into an Administration Manager role, which is currently being considered by Sodexo. 

“I’m thoroughly impressed with the way Ronald has managed to achieve so much in spite of the many challenges that he’s faced. This context makes his achievements at Sodexo even more impressive. Ronald is an asset to Sodexo – I see him having a great future with us.” – Govinda Holmes,  Sodexo Head Chef at Jerriwah Village