Appointment With Wesley Mission

I arrived at Wesley Mission (Flemington) at around 2:40pm for my 2:45pm appointment.

As usual, I went to the computers to wait for my job agent to call me.

3:00pm – no sign of my job agent.

3:30pm – still nothing.

I wondered how long would I have to wait for them to notice I was still here.

By 3:50pm, they had won the stand off. I went to the desk to ask what was happening.

“Were you waiting in the waiting area?”, the receptionist asked me, as if it was my fault I had been left waiting for over an hour.

“No, I was by the computers”.

The receptionist went to go talk to the job agent.

A few minutes later, my job agent came out and called me in.

“When did you arrive?”

She seemed a bit unnerved and was looking at me strangely – probably something to do with the unemployed worker who I heard threaten to punch a job agent 30 minutes earlier.

“I arrived at 2:40 – I have been waiting for a long time”, I said.

She checked the computer.

“The receptionist sent me the message at 3:11pm to tell me you were here”, she said in a matter of fact way, as if to imply maybe I was the one who was late.

Once the appointment got underway, she informed me that Wesley Mission have “new rules” which mean I will have to come in once a week. As usual, there was no discussion about actually getting me a job. Straight off the bat, my job agent was making sure they were hitting their Key Performance Indicators.

“I don’t want to come in once a week”, I said. “My job plan says I only have to come in once a month”.

“That job plan needs to be updated”, she said.

I was explained to my job agent that I had arranged to come in once a month with my previous job plan because I was studying full time and engaging in voluntary work.

My job agent was unmoved. She told me that it was now Wesley Mission’s policy to make every stream B and C come in once a week while stream A’s were required to come in once a fortnight.

“My hands are tied. I cannot make any exceptions.”

If was unable or unwilling to come in once a week, I was told I should transfer to a different job agency.

“I am not transferring. I have a right to attend monthly appointments, which is why my job plan says I have to attend monthly appointments”, I said.

My job agent informed me the new requirements were “non-negotiable”.

“Are you familiar with the deed?”, I asked her.

“What deed?” she said, eyes wide.

“It’s the contract signed between your job agency and the government. In that contract it says clearly that I can attend monthly appointments”, I said.

She ignored what I said and repeated that Wesley Mission now have “new rules”.

“If you come in next week we can sort all this out and work on a new job plan”, she said.

“I already told you, I do not want to come in next week. My job plan says that I can come in monthly. You are breaking my job plan”. I was getting frustrated now.

My job agent told me that cause my job plan needed to be updated, it was already broken.

“If you do not want to come in weekly, you need to transfer”, she said.

Someone who appeared to be a manager then came to speak to me.

“When we tendered for our contract, we made an agreement with the government that in our Service Delivery Plan we would provide weekly appointments”, she explained.

I was informed that I had been with Wesley for 96 weeks. Why was I only being informed of this Service Delivery Plan plan now?

“The whole time I have been here, I haven’t been referred to one job. Why would I want to come in weekly even if I had the time? You can’t just make up your own rules. Are you saying that it is impossible for me to attend monthly appointments while with Wesley?”

“Our Service Delivery Plan requires weekly appointments”, she replied before stating I should explore transferring to another agency.

“I am going to lodge a complaint about with the Department of Employment”, I said.

“About me saying you can transfer?”, the manager asked straight faced.

After I explained the obvious, she said Wesley will put it in the system that a job plan was not signed and I would be contacted by Centrelink ‘today’ or ‘tomorrow’.

“So my payments will be cut off?”, I asked.

“Thats up to Centrelink to decide. They will be in contact with you. We do not want to waste any more of your time”.

It was 4:20pm – I had been there for one hour and 30 minutes and had not discussed anything relating to finding employment. All had been achieved is that I had effectively been kicked off my entitlement because I wanted to stick to my current job plan.

“You will be hearing from the department”, I said before walking out of the office.


  1. I had my payments cut last year for not turning up to an appointment that I was never notified about and centerlinks response was “prove you were not notified”……… the hell are you supposed to do that! Beyond that my employment provider had me travelling approx. 500 km each week to attend 3 appointments a week which cost myself “one – third of my benefits in the petrol costs. Then when you are in their offices they talk down to you like your dog poo on the bottom of their shoe! Now with a Disability job provider whom is much better then Max Employment.

  2. My first appointment I was told they couldn’t help me but I had to go in every month any way. I asked why if they can’t help me. Grrr. Then after 3 years i finally got a job that meant I was working 9-5 every week. They still wanted me to come in every month till I got cut off. Of course, every time they made an appt for me i phoned and said I couldn’t make it as I had to work. Twice in that 3 month period they cut me off, even though I’d phoned and said I couldn’t get there and someone was supposed to phone me back and organise a new appointment. I can so understand why some people fly off the handle. I’m a fairly even tempered person until my buttons are pushed and they pushed my buttons regularly.

  3. Some years ago, suffering in pain with a. gap of 18 mm in my shoulder joint and other health problems, being talked down and treated like shit. I said in o loud voice and I quote, ” Why don’t you just Shut the Fuck Up” You could say I was being bullied, treated like a second class person, so I gave it back to her with both barrels. O.R.S.

  4. Does this method of enforcing “made up rules” constitute as workplace bullying and harassment? They are effectively causing unemployed workers further humiliation, bereavement and stress. I experienced the exact above scenario with ESG Lilydale. I lodged a complaint with DHS and I was still cut off. I had to call DHS to discuss having my Newstart payment reinstated. My payment was immediately reinstated, but according to DHS it is “OPTIONAL” for your Job Provider to assist you with finding suitable/stable employment. In the end it was a WIN/WIN for myself and ESG as I simply changed Job Providers. It was not a great experience by any measure and you are made out to be sponging off the system. All the while attending meetings with federally funded Job Providers, that have an “option” to find you work. ESG, Sarina Russo, Echo, Job Prospects-sponging off the Australian Tax Payer for YEARS. Royal commission. Corruption.

  5. Poor little rich bastards, and the pathetic traitorous fed corporation, never liked Kevin Rudd/Wayne Swan giving the majority of Aussies the stimulus payments, put in place huge infrastructure projects, that had Australia basically on too of the world, whilst other countries treated there populations like shit, during the GFC. The neo-libs hated the infrastructure projects, because the fossil fools hated the insulation, because people would use less power, less carbon into the atmosphere. The poor workers killed was from pathetic whs, ignored by get rich quick companies. Cthere had been hundreds killed in the mining corps/sleazy building corps during Howards ABCC. Also all the school halls…excellent, but this small rippoff neo-lib corp, don’t want public schools!
    So no real infrastructure projects, treat our wonderful fellow Aussie workers like shit. They will soon be gone folks, unless they bring in Marshall law, stop voting, because everyone hates their guts, to the same level, they love their money, whilst the planet goes down the gurgler!
    When Labor get back in, soon they will have a huge task, to raise, the hopes/morale, give respect and dignity back to our beautiful nation! We will all work together to do this, especially us in collective of workers, UNIONS! Stand united!

  6. Whenever social services are tendered out to the private sector we get this appalling attitude, aggressive and authoritarian rules and a complete lack of effective service. The objectives ‘should be’ to help you find a job, or access training which enables you to find suitable work. As economically vulnerable people, we lack the collective power to negotiate. It is only through working together, and presenting a unified message that we will change things.
    We have rights, and we also need help, there is no shame in that, the economy has changed. Jobs have vanished. We absolutely need to get rid of ‘work for the dole’ and instead some high quality vocational training options!

  7. All providers must give a copy of their service delivery plan to all clients when they sign up with them, they must also publish it on the internet to be made available to anyone that wants to read it. Just type in Wesley mission service delivery plan, and you should be able to read it. Also if they want to “change the rules” ie adjust the service delivery plan, they have to give you a copy of that too. Good luck!

  8. I had same experience. I work 3 days part time, go to Uni twice a week and have just applied for a carers payment to look after my 86 year old father. I am a single parent and have ongoing workcover. Still have to find 15 jobs a week.i can only work on a Monday for approx 3 hrs as i have ongoing therapy and take dad to dr. My job ‘service’ doesnt care so i went to Centrelink. They said they will organise for a further look into my situation.They also suggested i look for another job provider.

  9. What was the outcome of this story? Were you cut off? What is most disturbing in section “What Can be Included in a Job Plan” is this ” employment services providers (as delegates of the Secretary of the Department of Jobs and Small Business) have the final decision on what should be included in a job seeker’s Job Plan.” wouldn’t this basically eliminate any and all of our rights?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *