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CEO Update


Hello everyone and welcome to our first newsletter for 2019.  Our apologies for our lateness but since January we have been incredibly busy with numerous things happening around DVJS which required our full attention such as change-over of data base (you can imagine the headache!), change in management structure and recruitment of new staff…thankfully it is now business as usual!

2019 is proving to be very positive with 70 job placements achieved for our first quarter with only 1 not being suitable. We have had some amazing job offers come to our job seekers such as our first ever train driver, a program coordinator and several apprenticeships/ traineeships. It is great to see people with disability being considered for all types of employment and that it is about recognizing their ability and accepting their disability.

Disability comes in all forms…some are obvious whilst others are invisible, but when managed well present no concerns for the employer. Using myself as an example, if you were to meet me you would not think I have a disability. I look fit, I go to the gym regularly but at 54 my body is not what it used to be; diabetes & heart disease restrict me to some degree but do not restrict me from my role at DVJS which I have been fortunate to be doing for over 26 years. Technically, I would be classified as having a disability. If I was required to do heavy labouring each day, I probably wouldn’t cope but for an office environment I am well suited, and my disability is invisible.

DVJS matches the person, their disability to your job. We want to ensure that they can do the job and most importantly sustain it. DVJS offers very generous government funded subsidies to make employing a person with a disability very cost effective but we do not throw ridiculous amounts of money to employ our job seekers as we know they are capable...we want them to be valued. Our job seekers are not ‘free labour’ but valued members of our community who have similar values to everyone else.  We will always strive to provide you with the most suitable person where their disability will be ‘invisible’ for you as they are ABLE to do the job.

DVJS wants to continue to be your #1 DES provider and that you consider us for all your vacancies before advertising. If we cannot fill the vacancy, we will be honest and quickly inform you. When we place someone with you, you will always receive dedicated, responsive support to ensure that you are always satisfied.

We look forward to working with you throughout 2019.

Warm Regards

Steve Jackson - CEO

DVJS Employment Solutions

Bright Spark in The Shadows

Nikki Ward
DVJS Financial Controller
Celebrating 20 Wonderful Years

Most businesses have them, they're the behind the scenes team members who are an instrumental part of the business that most clients wouldn't know about. Whilst DVJS has a number of staff who work in the background ("and who are very good at what they do"), this month we thought it fitting that we profile Nikki Ward - DVJS Financial Controller, who recently celebrated her 20th year anniversary.

Nikki's journey to her senior position at DVJS is a success story within itself. Prior to joining DVJS, Nikki took on a role as a Personal Assistant to the CEO at Robert Walters - Tri-Star Personnel located in St'Kilda Road. During her 15 years it was clear to all that Nikki had a lot to offer and was quickly promoted from Personal Assistant to Managing the Accounts Department of 8 staff and processing of payroll for 300 plus staff .  Nikki was given a great opportunity and during this time she was studying hard completing advanced book keeping and payroll courses/OH&S /HR Courses to enable her to manage her team efficiently and effectively.  

After several years of juggling a career (working very long hours) and 2 young children, and commuting from the outer South East Suburbs to the City every day had taken its toll.  Something had to give and Nikki decided that being a mum was more important and decided to look for work closer to home.  

It was during this time that Nikki had a chat with Steve Jackson -DVJS CEO. Steve had mentioned that he was looking for someone to replace the existing book keeper with managing the accounts at DVJS because DVJS were opening the new Recruitment Link Arm – Labour Hire and Steve needed someone with more experience in the payroll functions and also doing two lots of books for both the Recruitment Link - Labour Hire and DVJS itself.  It was initially a 3 day a week position, but soon turned into a full-time role as the Labour Hire arm had become very successful in a short period of time.

As DVJS continued to grow to become one of Melbourne's leading Disability Employment Service Provider, and with the introduction of Recruitment Link Agency - Labour Hire and DVJS, Nikki approached Steve and Management to recommend a better way of processing the increasing workload. Nikki was instrumental in setting up a more streamlined method with some of those procedures still in place today.    

From all those years ago (20), starting her career with little more than belief and a can do attitude, Nikki is now responsible for managing and looking after the DVJS Staff Payroll Processing, Superannuation, Group Tax payments, Payment Summaries and End of Year Roll-over and all reporting to the ATO.  She also completes all facets of Book keeping for all DVJS Sites:  from Wage Subsidy Payments, Chasing Debtors Invoices/Payments, Creditor Payments, All Staff Expenses/Reimbursements, Managing H.R Functions.  She is responsible for providing the Committee of Management – End of Month Reports/Profit and Loss/Balance Sheet /Budgets on a monthly basis.  On the side she organises Staff Functions /Training Venues/Laptop and Mobile Phone distributions.

When Nikki is not crunching numbers, chasing debtors, balancing the books and looking after all the functions above, Nikki can be seen enjoying a nice wine ("and who could blame her") with family and friends. She leads an active life, who gives a lot to so many, she is a loving wife, proud mother, and friend to all.

Nikki, on behalf of everyone at DVJS, clients and employers, we thank you for all that you do and we hope to enjoy your company and friendship for many years to follow. Congratulations on 20 fantastic years.

100's of Lives Changed

Andy Ernst 
Celebrating 10 Magnificent Years

For so many clients, families, employers and fellow team members, the name Andy Ernst means so much. Andy is one of the nicest (at times cheekiest) guys you will ever meet. 

Andy has literally helped changed hundreds of lives of not only DVJS clients, but also their families in finding them a job. Whilst Andy would shy away from wanting to hear any accolades, he certainly deserves them. Recently Andy celebrated 10 years and at DVJS we believe he deserves a little time in the spotlight.

Before joining DVJS Andy worked for 12 years at Latrobe Personnel in the Disability Division. After leaving Latrobe Personnel, he thought he would see what it was like in the Corporate Life. After 4 very successful years in building up a reputable business, there was something missing. As Andy put it "Selling goods is OK, but nothing is more rewarding than the opportunity to help change someone's life".

Following his passion to help others, Andy caught up with Rob Speirs (Former Cranbourne Manager) now DVJS Board Member and Steve Jackson DVJS CEO. Thankfully there was agreement amongst all three and Andy joined DVJS in 2009. 

When we caught up with Andy to celebrate his 10 years we asked him what was one occasion that has held a special place. Andy found it difficult to distinguish only one, each and every time he has helped someone it has meant so much to all involved. He did however remind us of Ghulam. Ghulam was born with Polio in Afghanistan, with war breaking out, he had to leave his family and flee to Australia as a refugee. 

After months of no one giving him a break, Andy offered to help and introduced him to the team at New World Honda part of the Patterson Cheney Group. The Service Department immediately focused on his ability and found roles that he could do whilst benefiting their business. With the help from Andy and the New World Honda Team, Ghulam worked hard and managed to earn enough money to pay for his wife and children to come to Australia.

Andy's life is also surrounded by lovely people offering to help others. Andy's wife also works within the disability sector as a hearing screener for new born babies. Andy is a proud father with both his daughters dedicating their lives in helping others. His eldest daughter is as a Speech Pathologist at Marnebek Special School with his other daughter currently studying a Degree in Psychology.

When Andy isn't helping others, or spending precious moments with his family, you will catch him either trying to catch a fish or two with his beloved dog or simply unwinding in front of a fire with his swag. 

Andy, on behalf of all of us at DVJS, Clients, Families and Employers, thank you for all you do and well done on an amazing 10 years, we hope you continue to do what you do for so many for another 10 years or more

Bringing it back

Social Club evenings at Dandenong.

By: Tori Dodson - Employment Executive/ Social Club Co-ordinator


DVJS Dandenong decided it was time to organise a Social Club evening which was held back in December 2018. A number of jobseekers had identified that they would be interested in connecting with peers and their community.

With a date set in stone, the invitations were being handed to jobseekers in appointments. The excitement and buzz was flowing through the Dandenong office, with free pizza and an opportunity for a laugh being the highest selling point.

Official numbers were locked in and it was almost time for the gathering to take place. Games were prepared and we feasted on pizza while sharing stories with one another. Celebrity heads was a crowd pleaser, with plenty of laughs being had.

In March 2019, DVJS Dandenong saw its second Social club take place. Only this time, a few more familiar faces joined in on the fun. Numbers grew, along with the smiles and laughter. A very successful evening was shared.

The main goal was to connect with one another, in the hope of one day forming a friendship where social meet ups are a regular thing.

In late May, DVJS Dandenong were striving for higher numbers, more laughs and even bigger smiles for its third Social Club evening. With an Afghan restaurant booked and numbers confirmed, a delicious spread of food was presented for us. We played two truths and lie which certainly got the smiles out and about. The crowd favourite was certainly celebrity heads, with the likes of The Queen, Beyoncé and Lady gaga to name just a few.

DVJS Dandenong cannot wait to share the successful friendships formed from these wonderful evenings.

The next Social Event date is 11th July. For more information please speak to Tori or Dandenong Reception

If you are a local employer and would like to host a social event, please feel free to get in touch with Tori Dodson on 1300 DVJS DVJS (1300 385 738) or email to discuss further.