Your Stories

The Australian Unemployment Union encourages everyone who is unemployed or dependent on Centrelink to come forward and tell their story about what it is really like to live off Centrelink benefits.

While the mass media and the current right-wing government likes to paint the unemployed and people dependent on Centrelink as ‘job snobs’, ‘dole bludgers’, ‘leaners’ and the like, we need to make it clear that the problem is not with us – instead its with the failure of successive governments to adequately provide for the whole Australian population.

It’s time we set the record straight about unemployment and made clear whats really going on in Australia.

We need to give the general population a better idea of what it is to be unemployed, or be dependent on Centrelink benefits. They won’t get this form anywhere else in the media.

Tell us your story!

102 comments

  1. Do not accept jobs from employers or job provider company’s that do not meet Australian award conditions. This is a rule of centrelink.

  2. The basics card for long term unemployed, mandatory if you live in the NT but not Vic, WA, NSW, most of SA and Qld. That’s mandatory discrimination by law!!! And it’s not like the NT has the most jobs per capita to go around.

  3. was requesting two thing one was $167 pair of safety boots by medical advice and renewal of my security license $284 told by mission australia at elizabeth office south australia i would get either item by case manager 1 how much are we issue to be spent on per person i am stream3 cording centre link thier only spend $70 which fell out size range store didn’t have them in my size only totally work gear

    1. Good , isn’t it Ian ? I live 25 km from Childers ( nearest Town . The Salvation Army Know that I need my Car registered to get a job . They bought me a Bloody Car Battery 2 Weeks ago ! That is the Mentality of these Bastards.They now advertised that I am Job Ready ! It’s so easy to come up with the 750 dollars that I need to register the Car .I’d like to see Turdbull survive for 6 months on Newstart.I’m eating Noodles most Weeks .Oh , and my Providers are also upset because I refuse to sign their little ” Job Plan ” saying that they are providing me with all the assistance needed to get a job . They’re not . I may as well be living 30 miles out to sea on a bloody Raft !

      1. I have never understood the need for compulsory fortnightly attendance at these agencies. In my opinion, if the government wants to contact us, they can phone. Why should I have to fork out for the petrol (or if I’m not feeling well, why should my family member or friend fork out for the petrol) to get me ~ 20km?

    2. They can make copious withdrawals from the Fund whenever they feel that there is a net gain on the return of that investment. IE whether your chances of gaining work from the purchase(s) is high enough to warrant the withdrawal(s). Wasn’t this way under the system it replaced, despite the same eligibility rules being in place. They obviously feel that they won’t see a return on such an investment for you, which – being privately owned – they are allowed to use as an excuse for not spending the allocated money on you.

    1. Thanks Jenny for this. Much appreciated. Hate to push it but if it´s been updated can I have that too.

  4. Wondering if other jobseekers are having issues with Job Services Australia providers.
    Mine have just put me through a motivation and follow up reverse marketing course. What a disaster! Lack of available jobs/opportunities, discrimination, pathetic attitudes of employers, constant rejections, are the problems rather than motivation. But the reverse marketing is utter crap! We had to provide a list of 10 companies we would like to work for, problem is when you or so called reverse marketing expert calls them, there are no positions available etc. Companies are downsizing these days, not hiring hordes of people. Us jobseekers already know this anyway. Waste of time and counterproductive. I am fed up with dealing with these Job Services Australia imbeciles. They understand nothing and just keep putting jobseekers through the same old unworkable process. What a scam!

  5. Been applying for for 20-40 jobs a week since I got on centrelink in May 2014 and I’ve had no luck. I was a straight A student whose parents split up in late 2012 and had to live with my mother. She began dating a psychopath who would beat me up for any reason under the sun. I realised my only options were suicide or centrelink so I applied and it took over a year before they accepted my claim. This was because I needed to get a third party to fill out an unreasonable to live at home form. They told me it couldn’t be a friend of mind and had to be someone like a teacher or family friend. Considering I aced school you might assume I got along with my teachers but it was quite the opposite. I never once had a good teacher and would literally sleep through school because it was so easy(boring).

    It wasn’t until I got lucky and was brutally beaten up a day before a centrelink appointment that I was finally able to get approved by the system. They even tried to deny me when I had dried blood all over my face. I had to beg the lady and start crying before she decided to speak to one of their social workers who took one glance at me then said I’ll be accepted. Both myself and my mother were told that I should have gotten centrelink when I first applied for it a year prior but they took no accountability and refused to back-pay me a single cent.

    What makes matters worse is that I originally had about $6000 in savings when I first applied for centrelink in Feb 2013 but this disappeared quickly when I moved out for 6 months. I was a student at the time and had hoped that centrelink would accept me so that I could continue my studies in a non-abusive environment. When my life savings had all been used to pay for rent, bills and food I was forced to move back to the abusive environment or become homeless. When I was finally approved 9 months later(May 2014) it was not as a student but as a job seeker. I really did want a job and decided to give it my best knowing that I could always return to university and remain on centrelink.

    So this is when centrelink stopped being such a thorn in my ass and max employment took over. At first I was on level 1 and it was okay but I’d only worked casual jobs so I had a lot to learn about the job industry. They taught me nothing and the more I requested help the more of a deterrent they became. So I stopped trying to get any help from them and tried to be grateful that such an incompetent agency only wanted me to come in once a month. It wasn’t until a couple months ago when I moved suburbs that they moved me up to level 2. At this point I was shocked and appalled by the system in place and had decided to just get a casual or part-time job and return to university. Once I got my acceptance email I notified both centrelink and max employment and was told that I would be switched to student youth allowance on the day I start university. For some reason this was when max employment decided to gear things up a notch. They started dragging me in for 3h resume writing seminars and 2h of job searching per week on their slow computers. This inhibited my ability to look for work and killed most of the motivation I had left. They then decided to drag me in for physical/psychological assessments which they admit was a mistake yet still force me to attend. I’ve told them many times that I’m going back to uni in less than a month yet they keep adding more compulsory appointments for me to attend. It’s absurd that I’m being forced to jump through their hoops when it does not benefit me in any way.

    In the end the one good thing that has come from these appointments is when I saw an advertisement on their job board requesting temporary staff to help pack flowers during next week(valentines day). Out of my own accord I took it to the only person in the entire office who seems to give a shit and asked for the position. Initially he told me that the employer only wanted girls for the role but I remarked about how it doesn’t seem like a gender-based role and that seemed to change his mind. I now have 30 hours of work lined up for me next week but I’d really prefer a stable part-time job.

    1. Well done Josh. thanks for sharing your story . If anybody else is reading this a local Community Health Centre possibly could verify the unreasonable to live at home form. Also people can phone up the Centrelink complaints line – wait on hold for 2 hours – then ask to be transferred to a Call Centre Social Worker who can arrange the unable to live at home verification – possibly while you are on the phone. Phone from a call box or landline to save you phone battery.

  6. I am on a disability pension because I have multiple sclerosis and lupus. Centrelink have identified me as being able to work maximum of 8 hours per week. So being a good little worker, I took myself off to a disability employment agency.

    Now I have an honours degree plus a masters in adult education plus 6 years teaching experience. The only thing that stood in my way of a permanent job was a Cert IV from TAFE which I couldn’t afford.

    The disability employment agency refused to assist with the Cert IV. They said no, they could get me a job without it so they weren’t able to fund me.

    They got me a job for 8 hours a week as a receptionist and gardener. Now remember I have MS, which like all people with MS is heat affected. So there I was in the middle of the day gardening. Of course the inevitable happened, numerous exacerbations of the MS and eventually, on my doctors orders, I had to quit.

    The disability employment agency then took me off their books because I wasn’t willing to work.

    What a bloody joke!!!!

    To make things worse I am a qualified adult literacy and numeracy teacher but the disability employment service totally disregarded that.

    Plus my husband has been unemployed for two years, despite a PhD in environmental science.

    When is it time to give up? I get the pension, have a department of housing home, we survive okay on handouts and welfare, the will to work has been beaten out of both of us.

    I know we’re not alone in this which makes everything sort of worse.

    1. i know what you mean Re: the teaching degree – i have spent the last 2 years studying diploma of tech ed, completing all the university modules the only thing holding me up from receiving my diploma is an external OHS course.
      it seems that the job network agencies are only interested in the easy answers.

      1. There are many problems with the increasing number of part-time jobs (and casual jobs). I trainined in aged care and now have a traing debt to pay off. My local member of parliament said not to worry about the debt becasue I don’t earn enough. My employer keepa my hours low so they don’t have to pay me and other staff the superannuation levy. I get one hour per day showering and dressing a 93 year old man at his home. The hour a day pay of $21 doesn’t cover my car expenses and I am not paid any Km allowance. I need more hours work but if I register with another aged care agency my employer will stop the hour each day. When the man gets well , after recovery from the fall he had – then he doesn’t need me to come. I have thought of doing some work in an RSL club at night but the RSL club won’t interview me until I have completed a Responsible Serving of Alcohol Course and a Gaming licence course. I can’t afford to pay for either and then I need $300 to $400 for a Gaming Licence. I have no money.

        The whole darn mess is like having to pay shillings for a Miner’s Right Licence in the days of the Ballarat Eureka Stokade! We have gone backwards, not forwards. How can I go to a bank to ask for a housing loan? Communism in China seems to have created so much wealth that people can come from there and buy houses in Australia – making it harder for normal folk. Perhaps One Nation Party does have an answer? Do we need to revert to firearms and another Eureka Stokade? Hopefully not.

  7. I am Australian who moved back to Australia after being in a series of violent earthquakes in New Zealand. I still have some PTSD from this and cannot live in large cities for fear they will fall down and kill everyone (no joke – was in a skyscraper for the big one that killed people). I was working for a while in Australia on a contract, but that ended and I had to move some rural to save money because I am a single parent with a child. I’m highly qualified in IT and have three tertiary degrees. Used to work for government embassies and the ministry of science so I am definitely not unqualified. However I am an older woman. So no one wants to hire me, and there are no jobs in rural Australia at all for anyone except construction or farm workers. There are two trains to melbourne a day, it is the oldest slowest train in victoria and most of the time it is inoperational and it doesn’t run to school hours. There is no work out here period. I cannot relocate either as I have joint ownership with a relative who refuses to sell. AND because I do self-employed work instead of twiddling my thumbs, centrelink treats me like utter shit. They treated me better when I did not earn money…and in fact it is almost as if they are actually discouraging from earning money? What’s with that? If they want me to work and get off a benefit why the hell don’t the support people trying to generate income instead of attacking them for showing initiative. The piteously incompetent Job Seeker Agency out here does help anyone with employment, it is only concerned with bureaucratic procedure.

      1. In the past they would say, “Your money or your life”. Now they say, ” Your job or you got no life”. We know there is no freedom without economic freedom.

    1. Most J.S.A. do find work for incompetent, inexperienced,or bullying and authoritarian would be and has been bureaucratic workers until they grow a conscience, burn out or find something better with their recent resume experience. They are almost as much a product to be churned out as we are, imagine being able to keep a straight face whilst telling us that this pigs ear of a job market is a silk purse if we only put some effort in to it. And maybe we should upskill with the in house and fully billable course in needlepoint on offer to be marketed as fully job ready.

  8. work in mental health and am becoming alarmed at the amount of m/h patients who are being removed from DSS benefits either coming into hospital destatute or calling the ward a week or two after D/C to say the support put in place has fallen through ?is the system taking advantage of there cognitive disability.

    1. Yes no doubt it is….and look what it’s doing.
      Unnecessarily clogging up/putting strain on the mental health services.
      Truth of the matter is….if these people had proper support instead of these fat assed bone idle stone faced unempathic bitches at these Job services providers….then they would instead have jobs,work…and $.

      I told this asshole provisional psychologist who works with @work australia that it’s Christmas and all they have done is sit on their bone idle fat ignorant asses now for 5 months and have done nothing and how I feel inside how I am deserving of so much better from them and told this bitch I have had it with hers and rest of em there’s BS I told her I didn’t feel like living anymore….and this fucking bitch calls the nuthouse/police…..police were actually very very nice and compassionate and understanding.Next thing this bitch calls me from @work Wanneroo and talks to me like I’m a peice of shit threatening me with…”just to let you know there will be consequences in future” regarding any more email from me venting my frustrations at there appalling services.

      Who the fuck does this thing think she is?
      She is not even a psychologists asshole and I have already seen another person on here venting their exact same frustrations with the same provider @work Wanneroo and the disability case worker there.
      I have fucken had it with this lot!!

    2. I am DES,have ADHD and generalised depression only worsened last year because of my 2 dogs dying within 2 months of each other…and losing my mature aged fitter/machinist Apprenticeship and job via lack of support and inadequate on the job training.
      There is nothing wrong with my medication and I do not belong in any fucking nuthouse it’s an insult!
      This provisional psychologist….well I hope she stays at that level and does not progress further like others have because she doesn’t give a shit and its her fault she chose the wrong pathway and decided to work for an appalling JSA @ work Australia.

      There are so many better psychologists out there way ahead of where she is…where she is going.
      I can’t stand her….I can’t stand any of those freaks from @work Australia.
      Bunch of freaks.

      1. Hi Jon
        I understand how it feels to have your 2 dogs dying within a close time frame. The same happened for me – not even my partner (wife) or family understood how I felt. Unfortunately some people believe human beings should just “toughen up”. These people are wrong so don’t give them the benefit of being able to judge you – keep some of your feelings to yourself, and close friends. Focus on the job issues – then make a written complaint about the psychologist and her lack of help with the apprenticeship to both the Psychologists Registration Board in your State, to your local federal MP and also to the Minister Department of Employment.

  9. I have a major depressive disorder. and have had since young. When able to work, I did… but then went on the DSP after a long stretch in and out of hospitals. Then when I felt able to work again, I did. Getting a job took less than 24 hours (previous employer liked me), but getting CLink to *stop* paying me took weeks.

    Then I was diagnosed with MS after I started falling and injuring myself. Kept working as long as I could, slowly changed hours to help beat my public transport injuries (society collapses on peak public transport), then reduced hours, then tried to get a part-pension. CLink refused. I kept on trying. But depression and MS and no hope led to a suicide attempt.

    So now I am on the DSP again. I hate it, I hate being ill, and if I could work I would. I do a couple of 3 hour sets a week volunteering, and I struggle to feed myself afterward. Physically – can’t hold cutlery and struggle to cook without cuts / scalds / minor fires / dropping stuff everywhere. After a stressful stint I struggle to swallow without choking or dribbling. But volunteering helps my mental health, I think.

    And I now live in fear that I’m not disabled enough. Losing the DSP now would push me over the edge again.

  10. Recent conversation with my JSA consultant. “You have a history of being unemployed”.
    Excuse me! , since being made redundant from a job I did for more than 21 years, yes I have had trouble finding work, only casual or fixed term jobs. I have also done four certificate courses on top of all this, but still it’s hard. But I have not sat back and did nothing, but I am made to feel useless by these JSA idiots, they are totally out of touch with the tough realities of looking for work, especially if you are mature aged.
    Stuff them all! They are no help and are the real rorters and bludgers in all this situation.

    1. Don’t give up Glen because of their incompetence, be above that you know your worth and thats all that matters, the employment service system is an appauling punishable system for the skilled and the most vulnerable, it is the most deceiving, misleading, under resourced, under funded, inexperienced job system ever setup by government who listen to no-one and who is unaccountable to no-one, it borders well below unsatisfactory in service delivery, experience and professionalism. Try and take time out for yourself and enjoy your time.

      1. How come at the start of your “journey” with your appointed JSA do they hand to you a “service guarantee” that lists all these nicely worded,sounding helpful things to which you will only ever get them lying to you through there skin of there teeth about.
        As far as I’m concerned this “guarantee of service” fancy sounding document should be considered a legal document too.
        There the fucken idiots that generate this document and put it out there for those at first sign up so they should not be able to sleaze their way out of legal binding documents.

        1. You must research Don Watsons ‘Weasel Words” dictionary to be able to translate the “mission statement” and suchlike that you will have thrust on you in lieu of any meaningful assistance. Once these documents are translated and revealed for a puff of hot air they will have lost much of their capacity to wound you with their duplicity and false hopes. To be treated like a mug annoys me too but you must keep the high moral ground and not be drawn into a “breach” cos that’s the name of their game.

  11. Can someone explain to me how is is that a Case Manager can sit in a session an unemployed person has with a psychologist. My understanding is that treatment by medical people is protected by the medical privilege which can only be broken by a court order or legal summons. Can someone explain why Max Employment staff are allowed to sit in when they are not medically trained and for what purpose ?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Anne,
      that is really bad. I can hardly believe these guys are getting away with this stuff. As you can tell, this is the first time I have been on this site and I am, quite honestly, blown away. These guys are getting away with murder because people just do not know their rights or are so tired and exhausted from looking for work that we don´t have the time to take them on.
      But…that time has come, methinks.

    2. I realise this was some time ago now, but under no circumstances are you under any obligation to allow them to sit in on a psychologist session. A psychologist session is confidential and very personal. I would be very angry if they even suggested sitting in on my sessions. At one point it was mentioned to me that the provider had a psychologist/counsellor who visited, and I could make use of. As I am very suspicious of the provider I knew I would never see that psychologist because I couldn’t feel comfortable speaking to them as I would not trust them to keep my session confidential. Trust is a major part of developing a patient-therapist relationship, and I would actually expect that the psyhcologist themself would tell the case manager they were not welcome!

    3. Anne – if any Employment Service Provider tried to get a staff member to sit in on any doctor/psychologist/psychiatrist appointment, that is utterly absurd. What you need to understand is that a lot of departments and businesses try to do things that are completely unethical and often illegal. The problem is, the vast majority of the population do not know what the rules and regulations are, relating to their circumstances, and what is being asked and expected of them. Here’s a few things for ALL readers to consider:
      – Be polite and respectful. If people are forever slamming their fist down on the table (literally, or otherwise), saying: “I know my rights!” This is not going to help. Always try to be open and impartial when dealing with people. As the old saying goes – you can attract a lot more flies with honey than with vinegar.
      – Arm yourself with a pen and notepad in any meeting or interview. And if need be, jot down names and times. If someone ever tells you that you don’t need a pen and paper….that’s a major red flag. And in big, bold, neon lights.
      – If you do run into problems, do not use the phone – put things in writing. I’d start by looking here:
      https://www.employment.gov.au/complaints-compliments-and-suggestions
      – Above all else, get some legal advice. There are services out there that should be able to offer some advice.

      If there’s one thing I’ve learnt over the years, and that’s the importance of documenting things and the use of email. This is something businesses and departments despise. Why? Because they can then be held accountable. The problem is, most people are irritable and impatient, and immediately pick up the phone; there’s the first mistake. When dealing with important issues, avoid using the phone as much as possible – use email/letters/fax. And make it clear that you want all correspondence in writing….not verbally. If you have no other choice than using the phone, always get a reference number for the call. Something to etch in stone, and never forget it:
      “If it’s not written down….it didn’t happen. Again, if it’s not written down….it didn’t happen.”
      Learn this, and learn this well.

      1. Fantastic advice. I’m always surprised that most people don’t realise the ‘if it’s not written down, it didn’t happen’. It’s a basic.

  12. Just wondering if its me, or are other jobseekers finding the new Jobactive system as bad or worse than Job Services Australia? The mob I am with are aggressive bullies “we know better than you” types and no help whatsoever, they also seem to lack the skill of actually communicating the right info to jobseekers and then go on the attack when you try to defend yourself. I am very interested to hear what others think of Jobactive?

    1. The Jobactive system is worse than the JSA system. They will be all out of employment one day and then they will be walking in every unemployed person’s shoes themselves. There only above themselves because they actually get paid to standover and dictate to unexpecting jobseekers. Ensure you read your job plan and that your happy with it before you sign it. Ensure that there is a two-way-street and discuss any concerns you have with your site manager. Don’t always agree if you are not comfortable with anything they do or say, this will not help you. You can also dictate to them the service you want out of them.

  13. Jobseekers beware of companies that use long term unemployed like products off the supermarket shelf. Recent experience with a horrible company called Flo Level Technologies in Melbourne. (I don’t mind naming and shaming them). I applied for and accepted a job at this company, trying to do the right thing . ie. Get a job, any job.
    I was made to do incredibly difficult work on microscopically small PCB boards, electronics, soldering etc. Only problem, very hard to see the actual work, with a magnifier and glasses combined. Boss abused staff on a daily basis, swearing and making constant threats, also no understanding of difficulties with the work. After 6 weeks I was told to leave, as the boss was now sending the job I was doing to another company, to do the actual work. Absolutely pathetic, wondering if others have experienced this type of abuse? I feel as if I was just used, simply because of my age (49) and because of recent unemployment. I am really interested to know about the experiences of others with “crap jobs and crap companies such as this.”

    1. that’s one of the oldest scams in the book, company gets cheap labour hire for 6 months – agency gets gov’t funding , great arrangement for these 2 but the jobseeker gets thrown on the scrap heap until elligible for the next round ,,,,

  14. To all Jobseekers:- I am a skilled Voluntary Australian jobseeker with 25 years of skills and experience in my profession, deemed unsuitable for every role within my profession both at senior and junior levels by the private recruiting sector and now have been registered in the Australian government’s Employment Services since 2006, yes 2006, nearly 11 years provided with bare minimal employment assistance, left on a permanent scrapheap and ‘denied’ all access to traineeships/apprenticeships leading into new career pathways, denied access to Restart as a mature age jobseeker, DENIED THE RIGHT TO WORK by employers, hell I am not even eligible for work for the dole or newstart. In a family of 5 with 3 children to support receiving continual rejection every week of every month of every year. DO NOT BOTHER with the National Customer Service Line they will only send you on a merry go round of transferring you from one provider to the next with the same service delivery. **Be also aware that employment provider performance star ratings are not what they appear to be** Complaints should be made to the Department of Employment, Department of Social Services for those with Disabilities, Minister for Employment Senator Cash and the federal government. Expect a cold and uncaring reception! You are not alone!

  15. Bennett you are well organized , I am on DSP at 60 I like to distribute your information at centerlink , what do you want me to do , please regester me . as a contact . thank you Oswald Bruggemans 04 58549137

  16. I need some advice about job service provider, I have tried ringing centrelink but they are constantly engaged. I work 15 hours a fortnight and study 20 hours a week, job service provider rang me and demanded my payslips and I have been told I dont have to give them to them, when I asked why they wanted them she said so they can claim for me, for getting me my job, I told them I got the job myself and now they are threatening to cancel my newstart if I dont comply with what they want, I need help on this one please and thank you

    1. That’s terrible Wendy! No they don’t need your payslips! I got a job myself while with job service providers, and that was all ok. This person was fine with it because you do your reporting your hours to centrelink anyway but I’m suspecting that person wants to be paid a BONUS for “getting you that job” sounds like bullying to me too.. but its all hooey! It depends on the person you get they actually can be super flexible apart from seeing them once a fortnight and meeting your hour requirements. the rest is on that individual person. I’ve learnt this the hard way. I had a provider who bullied me about not working enough hours this was when i was doing shift work and thats out of my control but better than no job right? WRONG she hassled me about my hours constantly and made me email her every week with every hour i worked and my breaks totally unnessasary! It was a power trip. For you I hope its ok now i just saw you commented last year! but dob them in! Theres also an organisation that the job service providers are scared of called DEEWA or something like that sorry I don’t know the exact name but they can get them into trouble for treating us this way!

  17. I am 58 years old now and I lost my full time job on the first of June, 2011. I was working for Borders when they went under. I ran the music and movie department and I was very happy there. I went to Centrelink and registered as unemployed. I was case managed by Mission Australia, who never referred me to a single job and only seemed to be there to torment me into a job. I did the TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) at the Adelaide College of TAFE. Mission Australia initially told me that they’d help pay the $3,500 for the course, then two weeks later, after I’d paid for the course with my own money, they told me that they would not help me pay for the course. While I was doing my TESOL course I was notified by Mission Australia that I would have to attend a three week course on the subject of preparing for and going to job interviews, this was when I was halfway through my TAFE course. I politely but firmly told them that I would be unable to attend their course because I was already studying four days per week for the next few months. They rescheduled the course until after I’d finished with TAFE. I subsequently did the three week course and was no wiser at the end of it. I have been both an employee and a business own in my life and I could have run through the course offered to me in a single day, if I was asked to do so. The course interfered with my life, was time consuming and offered nothing of value. Eventually, I asked to be moved to a different job agency. I found Mission Australia made no effort to help me at all and only existed to make money from the government for bothering and threatening the unemployed.

    In 2014 I was moved to PVS Jobfind in Kilkenny, Adelaide. It was right next door to Mission Australia. The place was a little different. For starters everyone who worked at Mission Australia seemed to be a woman under the age of 25. I was seen by a man at PVS, admittedly a rather young man who seemed reasonably sympathetic. I went to PVS once per month and let them know about my physical and mental declines (I have chronic cellulitis in my right leg, clinical depression, I am subject to panic and anxiety attacks and I have a host of other symptoms).

    Then on the 23rd of February, 2015, a bomb went off. A very big bomb indeed. The ABC television program, 4 Corners, did an exposé on job agency industry entitled “The Jobs Game”. I invite you to watch it here, if you haven’t already seen it: http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2015/02/23/4183437.htm

    Shortly after this program aired, both Mission Australia and PVS as well as another job agency vanished from their offices at Kilkenny in Adelaide and presumably from elsewhere as well.

    So, for six months I was in limbo, which didn’t bother me in the slightest. I was very ill and getting worse and I have many things that were concerning me and looking for jobs was a low priority. Then, out of the blue, I found myself referred to a place with the grand name of Jobs Statewide. This place seemed a little more gung-ho than the two previous places I had been to, but it still seemed to be staffed by ex-checkout chicks and night-fill lads from a suburban supermarket. I was told that I would have to come in twice each month, and even though this is 2.1 kilometres from my home, there are no convenient bus or train routes and to get their I either had to shell out for a taxi or catch a train into the city and then walk some distance for a bus to the Arndale shopping centre, where Jobs Statewide is located. I implored them to do my interviews by phone, because of my declining health and there answer was a firm “no can do.” My doctor gave me an three month exemption from looking for work, which helped me get my life in order a little.

    By mid 2016 my health, both mental and physical was in sharp decline. Over the last four years I have attempted suicide five times. My ex-wife left me for another man in 2010 and this was just the beginning of my decline. I had a series of medical tests performed on me and it was discovered that in addition of depression and cellulitis, I have diverticulitis, very low testosterone levels, I am losing red blood cells at a prodigious rate, I have severe anemia and will require regular infusions of blood, I have a thyroid condition, fatty liver, an inflamed oesophagus, my blood sugar levels are out of whack and, to top it all off, I have glaucoma and I have already lost 30% of my vision in my left eye. My GP, who is a very kind and understanding man, has suggested to me that I go on disability until my health improves or if it improves, which is doubtful.

    So, in October of this year (2016), after a lot of blood, sweat and tears, the head office of Jobs Statewide admitted that I would probably be better served to a job agency that catered for my needs and Status Employment was offered to me. It is located in Dale Street of Port Adelaide and I can get there by train. I live directly across from the West Croydon railway station. However, the offices of Status Employment are, for me, a considerable walk and getting there from the railway station is very painful for me.

    So, two Fridays ago, I set off for my 13:30 appointment with Status Employment. I got there fifteen minutes early, hoping to get the interview over and done with as quickly as possible. However, I was informed that the person who was to interview me was at lunch. She finally saw me forty minutes later. I was again confronted by a girl who I estimate wasn’t even as old as my oldest son, Chris, who recently turned twenty four. I was proudly told that Status doesn’t have a “get ’em in, get ’em out” attitude and they prefer to spend time with their victims…… ahem! … I mean “clients”! I was duly told what are my obligations and what I must do (I was alarmed at how often the word “must” came up in the conversation vis-à-vis my side of the deal with this organisation).
    About twenty minutes into the conversation I asked this: “I am an honest Australian citizen in my late fifties. I have paid my taxes all my life and I been both an employer and employee. So what exactly are my human rights here, as an Australian citizen?”
    She seemed confused and I repeated my question, “What are my rights here?”
    She answered that we will get to those towards the end of the interview.
    We got toward the end of the interview and I was told a number of things, including:

    1. I must attend an interview with Status Employment every two weeks.
    2. I must choose an activity which including weekly attendance at a “job club” or a “work for the dole scheme” or do “fifteen hours of volunteer work per week” or do a Centrelink approved further education course.
    3. I must sign a job plan then and there on the spot.

    After two unproductive hours (in my humble opinion) I was ready to sign this accursed “job plan” just so that I could get home and rest. I again asked about my human rights and this made the young lady fidget with her pen even more. However, she could not answer my question. Or maybe she would not? Who knows!?
    I apologised to the young woman who interviewed me and said that it must be very tiresome to have to interview a cranky old so-and-so like me on a Friday afternoon when she is probably thinking about what she’s going to be doing on the weekend. She told me that I was actually unusually polite and that I wasn’t a problem at all. She also told me that there are jobs out there for anyone who wants them. I had to suppress a snigger at that.
    However, I did tell her that I felt like a newly released convict who was being interviewed by a probation officer to make sure I hadn’t been naughty in the past week instead of a dignified late middle aged Australian citizen who has lead a productive and law abiding life.

    So, it has come to this. Poor and unemployed Australians are to be “motivated” by threatening to take money away from us and wealthy Australians are to be motivated by giving them more money?

    Yesterday, the 17th of November, I was required to see the same woman I saw a fortnight ago at Status Employment. In the interim I had posted on Status Employment’s Facebook page that they should make it clear to their clients precisely what their rights are because I wasn’t told when I saw them. Strangely, they approved the post and when I last checked, it was still there.

    So yesterday I was told that I must choose an activity and that it is binding upon me to undertake an activity in order to receive my unemployment benefits, which were hard won by the Australian union movement in the 1940s.
    Sir Robert Menzies in 1944: “People should be able to obtain these benefits as a matter of right, with no more loss of their own standards of self-respect than would be involved in collecting from an insurance company the proceeds of an endowment policy on which they have been paying premiums for years.”

    Unemployment benefits are not a privilege or a luxury, they are a basic human right in Australia. Never let anyone convince you otherwise.

    Back to Status Employment. Because I can’t do much and I am waiting for further medical tests, I chose to do a “Job club” once each week. These things are essentially pointless and a waste of time, especially for someone like me who is not really able to work.

    I told the woman who interviewed me again that I am not at all happy about the way I am being treated and she just said that she doesn’t make the rules, she only follows them (and enforces them, which she didn’t say)
    “Ah!”, I said, “The Nuremberg Defence! – we were just following orders!”
    Needless to say, this remark was lost on her.

    I left Status Employment wondering what sort of country I had woken up in and why the poor and unemployed are being treated like this? People are rightfully indignant about the way Australia shoves refugees onto islands in the Pacific, but what of the many thousands of Australian citizens who are being punished, threatened, inconvenienced, humiliated and simply having their lives ruined by harsh government policies?
    I have contacted Mr. Mark Butler and had a very good conversation with his staff about these issues. I also contacted the office of Mr. Bill Shorten, the leader of the federal opposition and had a very productive conversation about my situation and the situation of thousands of my compatriots. And finally I had two very productive conversations with the good folks at the Australian Unemployed Workers Union, who actually took the time to inform me of what my rights actually are, as opposed to the woman who interviewed me at Status Employment, Port Adelaide, where she either didn’t know what are my rights or deliberately concealed them or simply tried to bamboozle me with paperwork and threats.

    On the sound advice of the Australian Unemployed Workers Union, I have emailed Status Employment to get my Job Plan renegotiated in the light of my new knowledge of my rights. So far, I haven’t heard from them.

    If any of you wish to contact me, my email address is smguy@optusnet.com.au and my mobile number is 0413354470. I am available around the clock.

    Goodbye and good luck.

    1. Hope you are OK Steven. I read your story and are appalled at what you have gone through, my story is similar and the mindless Jobactive idiots don’t make things any easier.

      Glen Wilkinson

    2. I completely empathise with you. My life has been destroyed after workplace bullying in 2012, it was extensive. Before that, I had worked full-time since 1993, sometimes two jobs, bought, renoviated and sold properties three times, living in my fourth since 2004. I suffered severe depression after the workplace bullying. Because my former employer has contacts in government, I have been made out to be a perpetrator, a person who has difficulties with authority, and attempts to declare me severely mentally disturbed. It should never has come to what it is now. I have not done anything wrong. I have reported on extensive wrongdoing and misconduct, backed up with solid evidence. Instead of writing outcome reports based on the information I have provided, there have been extensive lies made up about me. I am now completely unemployable. I am 50 years old, have not had a permanent job since 2012. I have done my very best to go forward. I have information on how every workplace I had since 2014, have intentionally (no it is not imagination) done things to make it look like I have acted with misconduct. There is something called gangstalking. This is people who are paid to destroy an unknown person’s life. This is the truth and reality. Our world is going downhill quickly.

  18. Well, I have a Personality disorder, Type B, multiple traits. Today I took a Med cert to Centrelink as twice they have rejected me for the DSP because I don’t meet the 20 points. Well, today at Victoria Park Centrelink WA, I was told by the staff member, that under Social Security Law, all medical reports are dismissed as false, and the Public Servant makes the decision based on what THEY see, not the medical professionals. He stated that no one gets DSP, even people with Downs Syndrome, or Intellectually Handicapped. No disable person is to be on DSP, all must be on Newstart so they can save $300PF per person. Money above People, arsehole Liberals. On Friday I am going to see Ken Wyatt and I am going him for being a token black. I am aboriginal and he has failed miserably. Bet he’s only there to build his bank account at out expense. He is a waste of time, like all Liberal politicians. Bishop is a liar and claims credit when someone else has actually done the job. They all lie, Bernardi, hates Immigrants but is one himself, Abetz wants to water down 18C and he is German with an uncle in the SS in WW2. Christensen a born again Christian Hypocrite and attacks Aboriginals and anyway not white. The Liberal Party is the most racist and discriminating people I have come across. You cant even speak to them without them telling you to go away and stop annoying them. Arrogant, rude, homophobic, racists, xenophobic, and if you are not rich, well that’s your fault. I hate Liberals and their stupid dumb supporters. And now, A Liberal State pollie trying to get elected, Jim Seth, a black man from another country. No aussies in the Liberals all born overseas or immigrants. We should have in our constitution, you must be a minimum of 3rd Generation Aussie and BORN here. Same as the USA.

    1. Hi Shane
      I have just listened to the new Federal Minister for health, Mr Hunt. He says there will be more money for Mental Health. Especially to reduce the suicide rate of the 15 to 44 year old group. It seems the process is knock the shit out of unemployed, brutally send them into low funded programs to help unemployed. It takes me 3 to 4 hours to write a job application addressing professional key selection criteria (KSCs) and they want me to write 40 applications per month. Chritians say the Lord will not test you beyond your means and abilitiies (well if it is not God then who is breaking us into little pieces so that structural unemployment becomes medicalised and therefore we suffer with the mental health problem, Perhaps a Royal Comission is the right answer.

  19. I forgot, My first JSP was Communicare, did nothing, transferred to another in Maddington, forgot who as they were useless, and now Salvation Army. 2.5 years and been sent to 2 jobs. And both jobs knocked me back as I am on medication for my mental problems. But even Salvation Army take no notice of my illness. As said, Centrelink has been instructed by the Liberal Party to remove everybody of DSP. And to reject all claims and reject all medical reports. The Public Servant makes the decision based on what THEY see, not what the doctors tell them. So unless you have 2 heads and 5 arms, you will not get it. I would have thought that this is discrimination by the Liberal party. They are discriminating against people who can not defend themselves. the Liberals always attack the poor, infirm, disabled, pensioners, any one not rich like them. Should this not be illegal? They are rejecting Medical Professionals advice over a Public Servant who has no training. And the Public Servant has been instructed to reject all claims. So, I would have thought that this is discrimination and should not be allowed. How come the Government is allowed to Discriminate against people? This is wrong and shows how horrible and nasty the Liberals really are.

    1. Employers discriminate applicants that need to take regular medication….I know it’s happened to me.
      Another thing I know is that JSA providers are all cunts too that discriminate against people with ADHD and depression!

      1. Sorry to hear of your suffering Jon. Job Network Members and Centrelink are not worth your worries. A friend of mine said she would “not cast hear pearls amongst swine”. And she is right. Commonwealth Law is above State Law. This gives Dept of Employment staff and Centrelink staff protection from being called to give evidence or have rulings made against them if their is a coronial hearing due to the death of a member of the public via suicide or any other means. They are safe from scrutiny.

  20. I now don’t feel so alone in my dealings and feelings toward so-called Jobseeker providers.
    I have been ordered to see Nortec for the past 15 months and I have not had one interview organised through them.
    I am a mature aged person and the only interview I have obtained during this time are the ones I have applied for online.
    Every 3 weeks I attend their office to hand in my Jobsearches (now I do them online thankfully) and then told to sit and wait. Usually this is for 30 – 45 minutes (even when I was working casually and taking time off work to do so with no pay). Never have they apologised for keeping me waiting.
    For me, this is a waste of my time and could be done over the telephone.
    I am not really sure what I need to go there for but I do it to get the pittance that Centrelink give me.

  21. I have recently had a relationship break up and have 50 50 care of our 23 month old. I am on newstart and have been told that because there can be only 1 principal carer. Apart from part ftb, I have no changes in my requirements and am expected to work my couple of pt days a fnight, have my son 7 days pw, look for full time work and now have upcoming work for the dole requirements, while the other parent has equal care, a pile of money pf and no obligations. I have no problem with getting enough work to get us thru week 2 week and saying bye to centerlink but think this is a bit lopsided. Just wondering if anyone else has had a similar case?

    1. Hi David,
      the caring of children and implications for Centrelink payment is fraught with problems.

      The best choice I can think of is if your former partner agrees on paper for you to be the sole carer and then you apply for parenting payment. Child Support could be made a private arrangement so that your former partner was not disadvantaged. That way one of you would receive full Centrelink Parenting Payment and Health Care Card until the child was six years old.

      The former Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson is now in government. Hopefully he would understand your situation. Perhaps you could write to him via House of Representatives, Parliament House Canberra.

      If you are feeling very upset you could contact Dads in Distress, they have a phone line and some support groups. (google for info.)

  22. I have a mental illness but have worked all my adult life. I have worked in full-time government administration jobs until I had my second child. After I had him I developed post-natal depression, but still wanted to work so I found supported employment through a disability employment agency working as a cook. Funding for disability employment was cut in the Abbott government’s first budget and I have been out of work since. I have looked for work but being 42 with a mental illness and two small children at home makes me not very competitive when it comes to getting hired. The longer I’m out of work and the older I get the more I wonder if I will ever find employment again, and quite frankly, that makes me want to cry.

    1. I understand you are saying supported disability employment was cut under the Abbott government – but I think it is time to try again.
      Especially with people like former Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson in government. Hopefully he would understand your situation. Perhaps you could write to him via House of Representatives, Parliament House Canberra. I remember some disability agencies running cafes in Bayswater (Vic) and Dandenong (was the Dandenong one called Madcap?) Another possibility would be to get a group together and buy a food van -perhaps getting sponsorship.

  23. Hi everyone
    I have just read through the 2 years of horror stories above – I am very empathetic with everyone of them.

    Please go to the AUWU home page and scroll down to the comments made by Lou, Eva and Maeve.

    Unfortunately – but not wishing to be political- there is a fact which mostly overlooked. The Greens voted for a $30 per week increase in Newstart in 2015 in the final days of the Rudd Government. 59 Senators, led by House Leader Penny Wong, refused to pass the increase. Then Mr Abbott came in.

    Under Julia Gillard AO – her Centrelink determined to reduce the number of DSPs, made it mandatory for disabled and sick people to undergo a “Program of Support” (POS) before the could apply for DSP. This wasn’t advertised of communicated. As a result it saved ALP treasuers heaps and meant people stave below the poverty line.

    Please read the home page. Please write to every politician you can and keep copies of you letters.

    If you are over 50 write to Michael O’Neill who is CEO of Seniors Australia. Keep this website posted re your efforts.

    Unfortunately it will take some mass action to put the wind up the skirts of the bureaucrats who keep their jobs whatever political party is in office.

    Sorry to be political – but try and think like this…..look at your electorate and vote to keep the margins small. Sometimes by voting against a sitting member the seat becomes a marginal one. And we know that is when your vote counts most.

  24. I have been on newstart since september & have had a medical certificate from the start due to mental health issues.I have an application in for dsp.the 3rd certificate which i uploaded on 12-jan i have not had an answer back.i am mentaly in a complete mess yet they are sending me to a job agency on thursday.On the dsp forms & information it states i do not have any mutual obligations while being assesed i sent my dsp application in 6-12-16 & the same day they informed me they have my claim.should i ring my job agency & tell them i am not attending or should i go to centrelink .first time on benefits so i dont fully understand my rights any help or advice appreciated greatly.from anonymous

    1. Hi Barry
      the whole system is excruiatingly complex.
      1. you need to keep friends with your job agency and centrelink
      2. you need to keep copies of everything you write – give no phone calls, no phone messages and no verbal conversations
      3. people who are sick shouldn’t have to do computer uploads -post everything to Centrelink, reply paid 7800, Canberra ACT 2610
      4. write to your local MP: thank them for what Centrelink does for people and let them know your situation and that you applied for DSP and the date – (you create a paper trail this way).
      BECAUSE THE COMMONWEALTH DEPT. OF EMPLOYMENT MAKES THE RULES IT IS THEM WHO THE ARGUMENT SHOULD BE WITH, THEY SHOULD PROVIDE MORE FUNDING
      5. You MUST complete a PROGRAM OF SUPPORT – write to Centrelink saying you want to be put on a PROGRAM OF SUPPORT
      6. Every appointment you go to:job agency, centrelink, local MP. , doctors please take a friend or relative with you as a witness and support person
      7. When you get your first rejection letter – immediately fill out a NEW APPLICATION for DSP – I really mean it!!! And go through the whole gut renching process again. A new GP or medical form is required as well. List all you medical conditions as long as they are listed as treated and stable (even one untreated or unstable condition will keep you off DSP)
      8. Also when you get the first rejection letter you need to appeal for a review and go up each of the appeal steps. Gut renching though they may be.
      9. EACH AND EVERY TIME YOU ARE REJECTED REPEAT STEPS 7. & 8. I am serious, even if you send photocopies with new dates on them!
      10. you need to take all appeals as high as the Social Security Appeals Tribunal (see SSAT website) and then to the next appeal level above that) Administrative Appeals.
      11. A doctor told me even people in wheel chairs weren’t getting DSP.
      12. Read the comments made on the FAQ page on this website – the comments from Lou, Maeve etc are very relevant
      13. Read John Grisham’s book – not sure of the title but it it about an insurance company called “The Great Benefit Society” this company is what Centrelink has become.
      14. Keep going through this list again and again, talk to friends, go to charities for help. Send your case details to Cassandra, CEO, ACOSS (google the address) and get help from the Social Security Rights or Welfare Rights service.
      15. Sorry this list is so long but I want to be thorough to assist you and anyone else who needs DSP. Also read Amy’s comment’s on this page.

      1. Patricia i thank you very much for taking the time to give me so much in depth advice it is very much appreciated. i will see how i feel over the coming days /weeks your letter has made me feel i am not alone & that i have support from others in similar situations,however all this is making my condition worse how they can drag a person into centrelink who is not well is beyond me.I may just tell them to cancel my payments & tell them to shove their dsp application.I know that would be giving up but i suspect i have no chance at all of getting dsp but i won’t know until i try. regards Barry.

        1. Barry….please don’t give up. Unfortunately there are lot’s and lot’s of people in the same situation as you. All the points Patricia made are very relevant.
          If you are not already with a Disability Job Agency (DES) and your claim for DSP isn’t accepted ask for an Employment Services Assessment. This is your right, so don’t be fobbed off if they say they have no appointments. An ESA should refer you to a DES provider. At least you would still be getting Newstart. Keep us posted on how you go. Good luck.

          PS As Patricia said….keep copies of everything, always take someone with you as a witness/support.

      2. The GREAT BENEFIT medical insurance company is in John Grisham’s nook and film “THE RAINMAKER”. It is a fantastic story portraying what Centrelink has become.

  25. My “case manager” got mad at me and marked me down as not attending the interview . Now i can’t report , So i went into my local center-link office to get this mess sorted out and they told me there is nothing they can do until i speak with the Center-link Participation Team 1300 306 325 i have been on hold twice now for hours at a time and no dice . Can’t even get through . So both my wife and i are unable to report our earnings for this period .

    Is there another way to reach these clowns ?

    1. Yes, report by post or fax.
      Centrelink Particpation Team
      Centrelink, reply paid 7800, Canberra ACT 2610

      It sounds as though you may be being “breached” by the case manager. So it is import to act quickly and by as many ways as possible.

      Keep a copy, preferably with a post office date stamp. It won’t be a quick process by post. The fax number is probably hidden in the website – so at least start by post (no cost) and follow-up by fax.

      You could put a request in writing to your local politician asking them to phone the participation team on your behalf and leave a message for a call back to you – spell out clearly what went on with the casemanager. This creates a paper trail, it lets the pollie know how stretched the system is. The Department of Employment just dictates to other departments without providing funding. Little scientific evaluation is done.

      Then the next day take or send your income report to the pollies office and ask them to send it on to the Parliamentary Liaison Officer for Centrelink (this is the top of the pyramid).

      Centrelink Participation Team is one of the most stressful and worst jobs going. A lot of Centrelink staff seriously think of committing suicide because the mangers bully them so much – staff get sacked for menial things so Centrelink can keep its Comcare (workcover) costs as low as possible. Try and be nice and calm with them if you do get through on the phone.

      When you are back on payments again: a] change your job network agency, and after that b] write to your local member asking they follow -up your complaint with the Minister of Employment.

    2. After 3 Hours on the phone i finally got through and they unlocked my accounts and processed my reporting over the phone . For all my trouble i was awarded the sum of around $16 . And now my job-active provider wants me to double handle all the paperwork and provide them as well as center-link with pay slips and complete a ” Participants time sheet ” .

      1. talk to auwu about this cos jsa use this sort of data to claim that they got you work and justify their claims on the government for funding which comes out of the welfare budget and could be used usefully instead of lining their pockets and inflating the welfare spend. The legality or otherwise of this request is covered in the auwu brief of your rights.

  26. jpTime of the month hassles –
    my job network provider seems to have PMT.
    Although my employer can’t give me time away today as work is full on the JNP wants me to go in to sign some form. If I take time off the boss sacks me – if I don’r sign the form the JNP is angry.

    Solution – email the form or fax it to me at work and I fax it back signed – no stress

    tick the box
    I can confirm that my employer did not require or request of me to supply a medical certificate (or similar) for the period I was unable to work, as stated above.

    All done – It is called a PERMIISSABLE BREAK

    THE GESTAPO ARE HAPPY!

    1. We need to be very careful there is a psychiatrist who has written a book called “Fragile Nation” he thinks that some people use mental illness to get a easy ride. This is similar thinking to the “Fountainhead Program” in Queensland which was discredited by Four Corners for charging $30,000 for a 28 day course which believes mental illness is just a bad attitude and that people “do depression” in the same way they “do drugs”. The bio-psycho-social model of mental illness is well tested and well supported. People need clean affordable accommodation, low priced fruit and vegetables, community support programs and medication where appropriate. Certainly they do not need the complicated stressful rules of the Department of Employment and the barriers that Centrelink puts up because some nuthead can’t work out what is needed to keep people above the poverty line while sales for Audis, Mercedes, Volvos, Jeeps and Porches all soar to record levels.

  27. It’s time! It’s time! for a Royal Commission into the Dept of Employment and also into Centrelink will it be the Greens or the ALP who take up the cause first. Or maybe we will have to wait for Pauline Hanson to go into to bat for us?

    1. That is a great idea! There is so much pain and anguish that has gone hidden for far too long. It needs to come out. We need to break the silence and fear. Read New Scientist December 2016 their is an article on Homeless People titled “Are you an Asshole?”

    2. It makes sense. There have been Productivity Commission Hearings into the Age Pension and there is a current enquiry into the DSP and Job Network customers and Centrelink Customers are not asked their opinion in sufficient numbers to have any statistical validity or sufficient protection of their honesty.

      1. There is such a swing to the right in politics at the moment it is difficult to see if the far right including Senators Hanson and Bernardi will respect the dignity of unemployed people. The job and business situation is changing rapidly pizza makers and pizza deliverers get less than the minimum wage, yet Dominos Pizza shares are $62 each. Businesses have changed from making things to opening food and coffee shops to the main street pawn broker or reseller. Financial businesses such as mortgage brokers are in the main street. And many other shops just consist of family owners with no staff employees. In Asia only 3 per cent of businesses pay tax.

        If unemployed people were given incentives and low cost loans to start businesses then the Franchisee moguls would be ripping the government and the taxpayer off. A friend, over 60, used his superannuation to pay for a Franchise and then the Franchise went broke and they lost everything.

        Just like the Personal Training and Masseuse Course encourage young people to borrow student loans with little hope of a job at the end. It is cost shifting to the course user and the courses employ people on a commission basis to get them to sign up. The unemployed person gets shafted all the time.

        It seems strange that a 22-25 yo can win “Masterchef” or “My kitchen Rules” with recipes from, Croatia, Macedonia, Thailand, Mongolia or India and then a restaurant owner applies for a 457 visa to import a person who takes a local job. The imported chef may not speak English (no language test needs to be passed) and so then all underlings need to speak the language of the chef. Surely the Department of Immigration fees can be used to send an Aussie gal to college to train as a Thai or Vietnamese or speciality Chef. ????

        1. My guess… Bernardi would send everyone to the gas chambers, Hanson would round them up and put them in gulag camps. You might have a shot at getting Hanson to open her mind with enough stories and pressure, but she’d still screw it up. Best shot is Labor, and the Greens are already trying to support and assist but they aren’t getting the media coverage. Push for a Royal Commission. Nothing less will do. This needs to go all the way.

    3. I am a very open minded person. My son is very happily married to a Muslim girl and my daughter married an Australian born Vietnamese. My youngest daughter is active in the marriage equality (GBLTI community) but after 5 years unemployment – and in my 50s – my mind is in a downward spin. I saw a sign on a Breadtopia shop looking for a part-time or full time worker. They wouldn’t even open, read or accept my resume – (Centrelink have me on an agreement to apply for jobs). Don’t get me wrong I am not a bigot or racist – but was my resume not accepted because I didn’t have slanty eyes?

      1. Both sides of politics say they will create jobs. I met a friend from my church on the bus at Marrickville and she said she was on her way to do volunteer work at an op shop. She said it was part of her twice a week commitment to Centrelink. I had a little cry inside as I know she is really good with computers and could do much better if only given a chance. It seems like the only businesses which are opening up are coffee shops – usually family businesses which are not looking for full -timers.. The other shops opening up are Op shops – Red cross, Save the Children, Epiliepsy foundation, Vinnies, Salvos and other charities. With the Newstart payment being $340 below the poverty line it would be nice to hear these organisations speaking out louder for us.

        Silence is golden, Cha-ching! Cha-ching go their cash registers at our expense. Perhaps we could have a National one-day strike by volunteers? Can I suggest the Thursday before Good Friday. Volunteers could ask to work a different day if they have a Job Network plan or get a doctors certificate so they don’t get in trouble.

        1. A National Strike of volunteers is just so good an idea. Please AUWU get behind this and start organising. Empowering us to speak out about what e contribute to Australia in mutual obligation in return for the meager Newstart Allowance. Afterall, Hank “what’s his name” in Centrelink media relations got a medal for his press releases degrading Australian citizens in poverty. My church in return argues “Make poverty History” but still likes to have workers in op shops and pay them zilch.

      2. SBS is featuring a program FU2Racism (Face Up to Racism) in late February – Will SBS explore inverse racism where darker skinned people don’t employ those with white skin?

        In Asian countries only 3 per cent of people pay taxes. This attitude is placing additional stress on australia’s economic system and this is why Treasurer Morrisson is saying he hasn’t got enough money because people expect benefits when they arrive but avoid taxes when they set up businesses.

  28. I was having dentistry done it would take one year.During that time i was warned I would need numerous days off while i healed.No problems i was just made unemployed…i would do a course over the year and get back into retail sales since i could smille again.
    First problem came when mission employment closed and Statewide Employment took over.My first case manager was more concerned about her new genital piercing…second case manager said she would get me some information about courses be back in a minute and through the glass windows i watched her talking to a guy then lowering her pants to show her new tatt (I am 47 yrs old) I was left in the office for 30 mins.she never once went out the back.When she saw me watching she came back in the room and said sorry their is nothing at the moment.
    A few months later thay told me i had to work for the dole.No problem I had already picked a place called the shed.They do voluntary work for the council and people around them.It met all the the criteria and was a good way to get my foot in the door to work for the council.This was shot down because Statewide wasnt part of this and there was to much red tape.I was given a small test to do and it revealed I had social problems and they would take me off the work for the dole.Instead i was placed on one their programmes called ‘back on track’.For two weeks , every day.They couldnt give me a bus ticket because I didnt hold a concession card.while doing this course I asked about how do I get into a course.I was told to bring the information in and they would get someone to help me….After three days of asking I finally gave up.The worst part of the course was the fact they had one person doing the course and every day new people would turn up.This meant You could get any help , because the poor girl had to keep backtracking.When a few of complained of this they came up with a solution.Instead of 2 hours a day the course would now run for 3 hours a day.
    After getting no where I was determine to at least get work for the dole.However when I asked Case manager number 8 she informs me I not eliglible for Work for the dole or volunteer work.I havent been unemployed long enough.When it came to signing agreements I was handed a form and told to read it then sign.When I told her I would not sign she told me fine I would cut off the dole.She never asked why all that I had no choice.I still decline signing it.Without going to the manager she contacted centrelink and inform them..getting me suspended straight away.I still declined,she made the phone call.Centrelink told me of everything that would happen if I didnt agree to signing the form…near the end of the conversation I was finally asked why I wouldnt.I told them..”it was someone elses agreement she had handed me”.
    Case manager 9.I cold canvass a large area by walking.(i have no licence).I queried about getting some new clothes for job interviews..He said he would arrange it…But guess what,when I went enquire about clothing i was told I would have to take that up with my new case manager.
    Statewide Elizabeth has the largest staff turn over I have ever seen.When i saw they were advertising for a position I was amazed you dont need any qualifications.

    1. Isn’t it amazing! Gerald Centrelink can cause you to shit your pants, have a stroke or heart attack and not be accountable because they are covered by Commonwealth law! The Department of Employment can make rules which make you so despairing or fearful that you jump into the Brisbane river or kill yourself by driving into a tree and they are still above Queensland Coronial law. Even if they hassled you so much that you drove down a city pedestrian mall and killed yourself and six people Centrelink, the Department of Employment and the Job Network employee with the new genital piercing or tatt would NOT have to go to court to say why they had overlooked your suicidality or hadn’t provided the bus ticket to get to the job interview!!! Let’s all shit our pants in empathy with you Gerald! Because what else can we do so that we can still care for our families and those we love? ALL SHE SAID “AFTER PULLING DOWN HER PANTS TO SHOW HER TATTOO WAS – SORRY THERE IS NOTHING AT THE MOMENT”. It sounds they have gone down the same road as the pedophiles in the Catholic Church!

  29. Recently placed into a job by my jobactive provider with a company called All Seasons Caretaking in Melbourne. All seemed to be OK for 4 months, then I was dragged (like a criminal) into the operations manager’s office for a “chat”. I was told I was losing my job due to: gardening not being my forte, I was not cut out for the job, I do not cut the mustard etc etc. This was baffling to me as I had no feedback from anybody that I was doing a bad job! And I worked with quite a few staff members in those 4 months, and we got the work done. The strange thing, it was at this point I saw on my payslips I had been paid just over $10,000 in those 4 months. This is curious as I am over 50 and my jobactive provider had been talking about the $10,000 wage subsidy for jobseekers of my age or older. Perhaps a wage subsidy was paid in this instance and I was told to go as soon as that money paid to the employer had expired? I do not know for sure if that has happened here? But it seems to be an incredible co-incidence. I noticed when I was at this company that the management boasted about very frequent sackings, also I met others who had been placed in this company by jobactive providers. Most of them disappeared after a few weeks or a month or two and they all seemed to be older than 50. Maybe this company is doing something wrong with these wage subsidies? I don’t know who to report this situation to. My jobactive provider knows what happened, but they do not seem to care. I am telling this story so other jobseekers are aware of what is happening out there-possible misuse of wage subsidies by dodgy employers.

  30. Hi Glen
    this is not a coincidence.

    It is the employer and job active provider rorting the system.

    Write a letter to Brendan O’Connor, Shadow Minister for employement at Parliament house canberra.

  31. Universal Basic Income needs to be implemented in Australia very soon.
    We are officially in a war of attrition against the Commonwealth, acting as part of the revolution for autonomous individuality.
    If you own private property, please declare your autonomy on these properties as an independent state within your state.

    Declaring autonomy on private property allows you to disconnect from ‘the grid’, you may also distribute your own currency, have the choice not to disclose any income details, exercise the right to use equivalent force against insurgents of your autonomy (This includes using the same tactics as the Police would, i.e, you can develop munitions for self-defence, submit and arrest agents of the Police)

    You may also organise into Militant Unions if the ADF get involved. They do not like to lose home soil, so you must take appropriate
    reactionary measures to ensure yourself and your family recieve the security to survive in this current global climate.

  32. Opposition Leader Matthew Guy is criticising a new Technical School in Lilydale that encourages student to do IT – This is a high demand industry wanting lots of workers and taking 457 workers from overseas. A Real Estate Website has threatened to go offshore if it can’t import workers. There are lots of Aussie IT workers looking for work. We should not support oveseas websites using overseas workers. If the Real Estate website goes off shore or imports 457 workers – Well let them fail BADLY! Keep away from Booking.com also because it is a Netherlands website.

    1. Hi Tim I totally agree. Trump is tough saying to American companies if they go to Mexico they will face higher import taxes. The American companies are starting to listen and changing strategies to re-locate outside the US.

      Now we have Universities saying we do not have enough talent and knowledge in Australia. They say they need 457 visas. What baloney! Cuba trains 3000 doctors each year to graduation statndard, and another 500 scholarships for Black, hispanic and poor US citisens.
      We don’t even bother to get enough Drs for us here.

      I have a PhD and am 55 – Indian employment law prevents me from getting a Uni teaching job cos I am over 50 yo.

  33. I went for my usual weekly check in with Mission Providence (you know, because I am such a lazy butt and stay at home doing nothing). Whilst trawling through Seek, my CSO comes over and plants herself next to me and asks me how the job hunting has been going. Yeah, great…4 interviews in one day and four rejections the following week from said companies. The branch manager waltzes in and without knowing my background, demands that I should be looking for retail jobs (nope, not doing that again, my feet and back are a wreck from working at a supermarket). I told her that I have at least 15 years admin experience. She then throws jobs at me that are accounts related (payable, receivable, bookkeeping, MYOB). I explained that I have little to no experience with accounts as all of my admin roles has not required it. She promptly told me that I am useless for any kind of admin role because I have no accounts experience. She then goes on to put down any effort that I have made (not good enough even when I apply for 120 jobs a month) and tells me that there must be something wrong with me and my interview skills if I cannot get a job. She then swiftly walks out.

    I am already fragile enough with how my job ended, the amount of rejections I am getting and not being able to pay my bills to the point I am getting threatening phone calls and letters. Why this old biddy thought it was her right to speak to me like a piece of crap is beyond me. I don’t care if she is having a bad day or not, don’t take it out on those who are already fragile.

    Why am I not complaining to Mission Providence? Because they are the people who can push buttons, lies and stop me from getting say kind of payment. I already feel,like I am a social outcast and scum of the universe, but hey, let’s just dig the knife in more.

  34. Anyone ever heard of RAPAD Employment Services? they are out in regional QLD. PAIN IN THE ASS is what they are. FULL TIME Work for the dole.. so 27/7 all 12 months of the year not the allocated 26 wk centrelink require!! No choice in the activity either… to bad if you have physical or mental limitations and CAN NOT do the work. 50hours/fortnight for all ages for 18 thru to 55!!!! no exceptions! 40+ days in the hot seasons and down to 5 in the cold we have to goto WFD.. im pretty sure the slaves had it better. oh and if you get injured on a work site.. no incident report gets filled out. no record of it ever occurring just sweep it all under the rug.. so no proof to claim to work cover

    Oh your way out west, forgotten about from your city cousins. good job government way to screw the outback people who actually want to work but no rain means no jobs!!!!

    RAPAD Employment services – don’t find you jobs, don’t up skill you with courses (hell they don’t even offer any courses), they just buy expensive tools and equipment that sits in sheds never to be used (unless privately by staff) drive around in govt fleet cars as their own personal cars.
    I personally have been injured on a work site while doing Work For The Dole, no work cover claim put through. now i have to live with chronic back pain, hands that work only sometime. The jobs i loved doing i can no longer endure.

    Watch out for places like this! regional people get it worse.

  35. I am currently doing work for the dole (which I have also done once before in the last 2 years). I am experiencing repeated bizarre bossy and bullying type behaviour from another older WFTD participant. The place I am at (a charity in Boronia-Melbourne) does sorting of donated goods such as : clothing, shoes, books and other miscellaneous items. not overly difficult but plenty of manual handling risks if you are not careful. I already have an ongoing lower back injury from 17 years ago. Anyway this bullying WFTD participant yells at me and other WFTD participants because according to him we are not fast enough to load vans with heavy boxes, bags etc and also over other such trivial matters such as picking up books out of baskets and trolleys and packing into boxes. How can you pick up heavy/very heavy items in a fast and aggressive manner-which this person wants us to do? So much for careful handling of heavy items so as to avoid manual handling injuries. He also drops other derogatory comments about WFTD participants. Seems like he wants to be the boss of all the other WFTD participants at this site and is somehow superior to everybody. As far as I am concerned, this is not a real job, it’s only bloody WFTD and all WFTD participants are equal and should only be taking orders and instructions from immediate supervisors, not some clown on a power trip. Other WFTD participants-wherever they are, need to be aware of this type of nonsense and should not have to tolerate it-us jobseekers have enough to deal with already and don’t need WFTD to be more hell than what it already is. Other jobseekers and all other WFTD slave labour participants be careful of situations like this.

  36. More crap from Employment Services Group-Jobactive provider (Ringwood). Recently sent on a 5 day training course-“traffic management” which involves obtaining a white-card (needed for work on construction sites) and learning how to manage traffic/stop/go slow signs etc around roadworks and level crossing removal sites etc. OK, I might get something out of it, fair enough I thought. Told my useless consultant I already have a white-card (which does not expire). He said just go over to nearby shopping centre on the white card training day and grab a coffee, sit in a café etc, and attend other training in afternoon-but there was no other training scheduled that afternoon! The white card training was held today-I notified the training school where I was sent the day before the scheduled white card training, showed them the actual white card and told them I obtained it last year, they photocopied it and said since you already have a white card, then you do not need to attend the white card training today. But of course I have to attend the other days which involve learning the actual traffic-management. I get a phone call today from a stupid consultant at Employment Services Group asking me did I attend the training? No benefit of the doubt given to me. Of course I attended the other days, just not today because I already have a white card and should not to have to do training for something I already have obtained. I told him to ring the training school if he had any issues with this. It seems like some kind of communication stuff-up has occurred here, because you have to sign-in each day you attend the training, and I definitely was told by training school not to attend today because I don’t want or need 2 white cards! It is illogical. Perhaps the training school has sent the sign-on form through to my jobactive provider with no signature beside my name even though I told the incompetent fools I already have a frickin’ white card and obviously the people in the office of this training school don’t communicate with each other or the jobactive provider consultants. In other words the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. This is all causing significant stress to myself and is approaching a clusterfuck of near mammoth proportions. These jobactive morons are as dumb as a box of hammers, a tinny short of a sixpack, a kangaroo short in the top paddock and wouldn’t know a tram was up ’em unless it rang it’s bell. I wouldn’t piss in their ears if their brains were on fire! So frustrated!!!!!!!!

    Glen Wilkinson

  37. I have PTSD. Attending my Job Service Provider has become untenable after all the bullying and irrational demands. If living below the poverty line isn’t impossible enough, knowing you can never comply with their requests because of you’re PTSD and being cut off the dole for non compliance, is enough to push you over the line. Last visit i was left so traumatised i was sunk down on the stairs outside the job service provider office having an anxiety fit shaking and barely able to hold onto the railing. Took a day of vomiting & shaking prior just to get to the interview, followed by bullying at the interview as always and arguments about my medical certificate being lost in space yet again from both Centrelink and the JSP, followed by another half an hour in the carpark after all the horror to steady myself. Takes 2 days to recover after every visit and i’m threatened with non compliance cut off every time. And to think i was working part time and a hell of lot healthier before Centrelink got involved. This government is criminally abusive. We need a Royal Commission.

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