Employment support

McAuley Works provides specialist employment support to women who are long-term jobseekers and have experienced family violence or homelessness. 

At McAuley, we recognise the importance of financial independence for women who have experienced family violence in regaining their independence and self-esteem and, in many situations, to provide for their families and secure permanent accommodation.

What we provide:

Working alongside our clients, we provide tailored one -on- one  employment assistance – specifically supporting the individual needs of women who have experienced family violence or homelessness to secure and maintain permanent employment.

  • Work preparation and readiness including resume preparation
  • Mentoring and career coaching
  • Jobseeking skills
  • Job matching and applications
  • Interview skills and techniques
  • Pre-employment training and opportunities and assistance with funds to pay for training in order to secure employment
  • Connecting with employers, employment placement and onboarding
    • Employer engagement on behalf of client
  • Post-employment placement support

Our clients also have access to specialist family violence case management support for any matters and concerns relating to family violence and homelessness with outstanding matters relating to family violence and homelessness which allows our employment team to focus on employment goals.

We work closely with employers to ensure that our clients experience a positive job placement and receive the support that may be needed in their transition to their new workplace.  We can engage with employers throughout the first six months as part of our post-employment placement support.

Who is eligible for support?

Our clients must be women who have experienced family violence or homelessness. They must also be:

  • Unemployed for more than six months
  • Willing to work a minimum of 15 hours a week
  • Working fewer than 12 hours a week in casual, intermittent or temporary work
  • Studying less than 15 hours per week
  • Victorian residents who are:
    • Australian Citizens
    • permanent residents
    • temporary residents seeking asylum
    • New Zealand citizens who have been in Australia for more than six month

Live in either:

Western Melbourne in the following council areas: Maribyrnong, Brimbank, Wyndham, Moonee Valley, Melton, Hobsons Bay

The Central Highlands in the following council areas: Ararat, Golden Plains, Moorabool, Ballarat, Hepburn, Pyrenees

For further information about McAuley Works or queries regarding referrals please contact us at: mcauleyworks@mcauley.org.au or on (03) 9362 8900


McAuley Works is a program of Jobs Victoria.

Read More

Ninety-five women women participated in the program in 2019-2020. Thirty six women commenced work.


Twenty-seven of the women who  obtained jobs were in situations where the family violence was regarded as ‘critical’ – meaning the woman was still dealing with an imminent and immediate threat of violence. Ten of them had below average employability – meaning they were unskilled, had not held a position in the previous year, and were only partly fluent in English.

McAuley Works in the news

A job can be the key to new futures for women in violent relationships.

Employment has a positive impact on women’s self esteem, our CEO Jocelyn Bignold OAM said in a recent article in the Ballarat Courier.

“It is where women tap into their identities as not just victims; they are professional, thriving, independent people at work, part of teams and respected and valued,” she said.

“All of that is opposite to the experience of family violence where they are hurt and denigrated and belittled and humiliated."

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‘A life back on track’: Akanke’s story

'I knew I wasn't doing this by myself'

A young African-born woman stumbled upon McAuley House when she came to Melbourne, lost and alone and relying on couch-surfing for accommodation. She was supported to find work as an interpreter and says McAuley helped her get her life back on track.

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Feeling ‘blessed’: how a new job led to a new beginning

It’s a common enough workplace event – sharing a birthday cake with office colleagues, but it signified something more for Amrita.

‘In my first meetings with her she was still in a state of fear and anguish. She’d lived in refuges and there had been countless intervention order breaches. She also had two young children and was still traumatized and uncertain about what the future could bring.' With our support Amrita was able to get a new job and begin to build a new life free from the constant threat of violence.

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Amber’s story

'I wanted my kids to see me working'

Amber had left school in year eight, and been through many struggles as a young mum. Being supported with the skills to find work brought her increased self-esteem and confidence.

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Employment is a pathway out of family violence: our submission

Our submission to a Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into disadvantaged jobseekers explained that financial independence helps women leave violent relationships

There are countless immediate, and longer-term, benefits for the community when women experiencing family violence gain employment.

Foremost of these is that the economic independence and financial security associated with work can be a springboard for leaving a violent relationship.

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