Donna with consultant Florensia Walker at Peppers Beach Club, Port Douglas QLD.
49 year old Donna has joined the North Queensland bustling tourist industry, working as a room attendant in the beautiful Port Douglas Peppers Beach Club for the last three months.
After living with a brain injury and caring for her children, Donna had been unemployed for over 28 years. She was struggling with how to get back into work when she came into MAX Employment Cairns.
“I had been craving to go back to work, but I kept getting down thinking ‘Who’s going to employee me?’”
With the brain haemorrhage leaving Donna debilitated from severe headaches and unable to drive, and skin cancers causing several skin grafts on her face, Donna’s confidence was at an all-time low. Too scared to even show her face in the supermarket, Cairns consultant Florensia Walker helped Donna rebuild her confidence and start putting herself out there.
“I didn’t have a resume, and I was scared of interviewing but Flo told me give it a try.”
Donna was unsure what work would be available to her.
“After 28 years of raising a family and keeping it together, all I thought I was good at was housekeeping. I couldn’t sit behind a computer all day.”
Flo organised an interview with Rena, the manager of six Mantra hotels in the Port Douglas area who was more than happy to take Donna on.
“Initially Donna was really nervous, she was a bit anxious at the interview and not sure if she was doing the right thing, but she past the interview and felt a lot better,” Rena said.
Donna helps clean the rooms for guests which, as a five star hotel, has very high standards.
“Donna’s got a great can do attitude and a great personality, she’s got a really lovely way. She’s definitely part of the team.”
Donna says the best part of her job is meeting new people, and the new found confidence in herself.
“Interaction with the guests has really amazed me; seeing their appreciation. Now that I’m around people 24/7 I don’t mind going to the grocery store without hiding.”
It hasn’t been easy for Donna, who still lives with chronic pain, but she’s determined to see her new job through.
“I nearly gave up and said I wasn’t coming back. But I wanted to see how far I could push myself. If I can do it then why shouldn’t I?”
And Donna has proven that she’s more than capable.
“When I first started my team asked ‘Where have you been hiding for 28 years?’”