Life stages and diverse experiences/ background

There are many reasons you may have had extended time off work.  For example you may be juggling family and work. This section gives information to help you return to work.  Specific information is also provided for women’s diverse experiences/backgrounds.

Returning to work after extended time off

After parental leave or career break

Returning to work after parental leave or a career break - A guide for adults in NSW returning to work for the same employer after maternity or paternity leave, or following an extended career break. It covers how to keep up to date during a break, upskilling and training options as well as rights and responsibilities on your return. - Information, downloadable guides and toolkits on pregnancy, parental leave and parents in the workplace.

Breastfeeding friendly workplaces - Australian Breastfeeding Association has information on breastfeeding friendly workplaces 1800 686 268

Child Care Subsidy (CCS) - Payment and Service Finder to estimate how much CCS) you may get. The amount of childcare subsidy you get depends on your circumstances.

The Mid-Career Checkpoint program is a new Australian Government program that will assist people who have spent more than 6 months out of the workforce undertaking caring responsibilities and are now looking to return to paid employment. Participants can access a $3000 grant to support upskilling or reskilling.

What's Next? helps you decide what to do if you have been retrenched or are looking for a new career.

ParentsNext - supports parents and carers who receive Parenting Payment to plan and prepare for work by the time their youngest child starts school.

Following sickness/injury

Long periods of sick leave

Due to caring responsibilities

Sick and carers leave

I’ve lost my job

A guide for people in NSW who have lost their job - It has information on rights at work, ways to upskill and retrain, where to search for work, as well as getting help with costs and other support services.       

The Redundancy Information Statement - provides a guide for retrenched workers of their rights, entitlements and available support services. 

Flexibility and rights at work

Flexible working arrangements - how to request and laws that apply. 

Working flexibly resources for employees - practical resources to assist you to know what flexible work means for you, how to apply for job share.

Best practice guide to flexible working for managers and employers It explains the advantages of taking a best practice approach to flexible working arrangements

Rights and protections for people working in Australia on a visa

Dealing with workplace injury - your rights if you have been injured at work.

Studying or learning new skills

Students and job seekersVocational training is a great way to learn new skills and get paid experience in many different jobs.

Vocational education and training (VET)VET gives people workplace skills and technical knowledge. It emphasises hands-on experience and teaches many skills in demand in NSW.  

Careers NSW Skills HubFree phone service providing personalised advice about skills and training, to help you upgrade your skills and training so you are more employable.

Diverse experiences/backgrounds

I’m a carer

Carer to Career - is a specialist TAFE NSW program for people that live in NSW and care for a family member, friend or neighbour who experiences disability, mental health, ageing or complex health and wellbeing needs. Carer to Career is a different pathway into qualifications that can lead to employment.        

Carers with specific needs- there are a number of services and programs available for carers with specific needs and requirements       

Carer to Career Toolkit - a toolkit for carers seeking to return to work.

I identify as LGBTQI+

LGBTQI+ - women, discrimination.

Safety and Inclusion of LGBTQI+ people

Pride in Diversity is Australia’s first and only not-for-profit workplace program designed specifically to assist Australian employers with the inclusion of LGBTQ employees

Job training  Dress for Success welcome all women, cis and trans, and any non-binary people comfortable in women’s spaces.

I’m an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander woman

A range of services and programs - including mentorship, career and business development,fee-free training, local networks.

National Indigenous Australians Agency - the Community Development Program (CDP) is the Australian Government’s remote employment and community development service. CDP supports job seekers in remote Australia to build skills, address barriers to employment and contribute to their communities through a range of flexible activities.

Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES) is a national Aboriginal recruitment and group training company that empowers Indigenous people through brokering employment opportunities and supporting candidates to have successful careers through mentoring, coaching, training and specialist support.        

The Business Toolkit - aims to inform and inspire Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in their aspirations to be successful business women.       

Job Ready Program - Not-for-profit organisation providing fitness facilities, affordable accommodation, “Job Ready” program with mentors and training, and After School and School Holiday programs for kids. 

CareerTrackers – a national non-profit with the goal of creating pathways and support systems for Indigenous young adults to attend and graduate from university, with high marks, industry experience and bright professional futures. 

Mentoring for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples  

I’m a migrant/refugee woman

The Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) - is a free service to help eligible migrants and humanitarian entrants with low English levels to improve their English language skills and settle into Australia.              

Community Hubs - support migrant and refugee families, particularly mothers with young children, to connect, share, and learn. Hubs bridge gaps between migrants and the wider community. Hubs connect women with schools, with each other, and to increase their use of services like health, vocational and education, and support services, and learn conversational English.              

Workshop for newly arrived refugees to learn, with their peers about Australia, services available to them and how to successfully settle in NSW.

Youth Linker Program Young refugees can meet with a young person with a similar background to support and connect them to study, work, friend and support options. Located in Fairfield              

NSW GROW supports migrants in western Sydney with skills, to be welcomes and thrive and work in regional NSW (Riverina NSW pilot). Regional Employment Hub

TAFE offers a large range of English classes for many professions usually called English for specific purposes  

Support services for newly arrived migrants and refugees who are seeking employment. SCOA can refer to the nearest settlement provider in any location.               

Employment services in NSW targeting migrants and refugees.

How to get overseas qualifications assessed

The overseas qualification assessment compares an overseas qualification to an Australian qualification.               

Trades skills gained overseas recognition

I’m a woman with disability

Workplace adjustments - a change to a work process, procedure or environment that allows a person with disability to work productively and safely.

Stepping Into internship program is a paid internship scheme that matches talented university students with disability with roles in leading Australian businesses. For students, it's a chance to gain vital work experience during study. For businesses, it's a talent pipeline that helps cultivate an inclusive and diverse workplace culture.

Job Access is here to support people with disability find and keep jobs, get promoted to better jobs, upgrade or expand their workplace skills, and more.

Pace Mentor Program - getting into the workplace can be intimidating at the best of times, especially if you’re approaching a serious job opportunity. Sign up for a mentor. When you sign up for Australia Network on Disability Positive Action towards Career Engagement (PACE) mentoring program, you will be connected with a mentor who has advice and wisdom to share.  

RecruitAbility- aims to attract and develop applicants with disability to vacancies in the Australian Public Service and facilitates cultural changes in selection panels and agency recruitment.

First Peoples Disability Network

I’m a woman living in a rural/remote area

The Rural Women's Network (RWN) - is a statewide government program within the Department of Primary Industries. Links to information and services/opportunities to build business and personal resilience.

I’m a veteran, or the spouse/partner of a veteran/current serving member of Australian Defence Force

NSW Government Veterans Employment Program - is a communication and education platform which supports veterans in the search for a public sector job. A range of resources and services are available including fee free workshops.

Veterans Skills Programprovides free access to nationally accredited full or part qualifications for veterans and their partners who live in NSW. Eligible learners will be able to study any course under the NSW Government’s Smart and Skilled program at no cost including TAFE NSW Certificates.

Job Search for Veteransmaking the transition to civilian life comes with its own challenges. A range of resources including a job finder tool are provided here to support your decision-making

Ranks to Recognition (TAFE NSW)- Ranks to Recognition is a service provided by TAFE NSW for Veteran Spouse/partner which includes

  • Careers advice
  • Skills assessment
  • Credit Transfer
  • Recognition of prior learning
  • Training gap analysis to help identify the skills and knowledge acquired in the ADF, and the pathway to civilian qualifications

Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program (Department of Veteran Affairs) provides support to veterans who are unemployed or underemployed, need assistance to change careers or need support adjusting to the civilian workplace. Eligible veterans can access  up to 10 hours of one-to-one service support for pre-employment assistance, post-employment assistance or a combination of both.

RSL Employment Program (National) - this fee free program supports ADF veterans or the partners of current or former ADF members to find meaningful employment after Defence. Assistance includes:

  • Career counselling and help to translate skills to the civilian job market
  • Help to interpret selection criteria for job applications
  • Writing CVs, application letters, and building social media profiles 
  • Interview coaching

Open Arms - Mental health support for Navy, Army and Air Force personnel, veterans & their families:

  • Counselling
  • Self-help tools
  • Peer programs
  • Group programs
  • Living well
  • Workshops       

Australian Veterans Employers Coalition (AVEC) Jobs Portal - connects transitioning service members, job-seeking veterans and their partners to employment opportunities. The Jobs Portal uses profile information to match an individual’s skillset with corporate role requirements.

Veterans Community Business Chamber (VCBC) - the VCBC supports entrepreneurship and small business in the military and veteran community. Member resources include access to an online directory of veteran owned businesses, online training modules and access to workshops. The VCBC has also developed a podcast series for people interested in entrepreneurship.   

With you With Me (WYWM) - this organisation supports veterans and their partners who under-employed or unemployed to find employment in the tech industry. WYWM provides free aptitude testing, free training and connections to employment opportunities with their world-leading tech partners.       

Solider On - provides tailored support services for veterans and their families in the following areas:

  • Health and Wellbeing Services
  • Employment Support and Transition
  • Learning and Education Programs
  •  Participation and Social Connection    

Prince’s Trust Australia Enterprise Program - The Enterprise Program supports veterans, their families and ADF spouses/partners to build the confidence, skills and networks they need to safely explore self-employment, and engage successfully with the rapidly changing world of work.   

The Australian Government’s Partner Employment Assistance Program provides funding for initiatives to assist ADF partners with employment when they are relocated on posting or if their ADF member is medically transitioning. The two support initiatives offered are

  • Professional employment services
  • Professional re-registration            

Defence Families of Australia (DFA) DFA has produced a series of employment focused webinars with thought leaders, career development experts, supportive employers and organisations who are passionate about supporting ADF partners in gaining and maintaining meaningful employment and careers.       

Financial support and Work support services and payments are available to help individuals find employment, manage their own wellbeing and look after their rights.


I’m an older woman

What are your rights as an older worker?  - online training

The resource hub hosts a range of free resources for employers and employees to help raise awareness of the value of older workers and implement age-diverse business practices. It also offers free online training to help employers and employees better understand the benefits of employing and retaining older workers, and to provide practical ways of working with older employees to foster engagement and retention 

Career Transition Assistance is for people aged 45 years and older to help you build skills and confidence to be more competitive in your local job market.

Tech Savvy Seniors  Program

Mentoring and support for people aged 45 years and overIncludes tailored advice, workshops and networking events as well as, referrals to appropriate services to assist individuals to start their own business:

Mature Age Employment - There are a range of programs and initiatives available to help you make the most of the opportunities that a longer life provides.

I’m a woman with a criminal record

Success Works provides work readiness/ employability skill development and transitional support for women affected by the criminal justice system.

Support for women’s health

NSW Health provides services and programs targeted to addressing a range of women’s health needs.

Mental health support- the process of finding and applying for jobs can be an exhausting and emotional journey. Here is a list of wellbeing and personal support organisations that can be helpful if you’re experiencing any type of mental stress.

Mental Health Support for Small Business Owners -My Business Health web portal. Small-business owners who are experiencing stress can now connect to a new, tailored mental health support service available on the My Business Health web portal. The New Access for Small Business Owners program is delivered by Beyond Blue, and offers free one-on-one telehealth sessions with specially trained mental health coaches. 

The Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council

Aboriginal Medical Services 

Eating Disorders and Body Image issues - Butterfly Foundation operates a National Helpline that includes support over the phone, via email and online. The Helpline is staffed by trained counsellors. They also provide a wide range of programs for service providers and recovery groups.

Childhood trauma - Adults who have experienced childhood trauma, or complex trauma in adulthood, can speak with a Blue Knot Helpline trauma counsellor including for support and applications around national redress.

Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA) supports women, men and families across Australia affected by anxiety and depression during pregnancy and in the first year of parenthood. PANDA operates Australia’s only National Helpline for individuals and their families to recover from perinatal anxiety and depression.

Death of a Child - Sands is a volunteer-based organisation providing individualised care from one bereaved parent to another, giving them support and hope for the future, following the death of a baby during pregnancy, infancy or early childhood. 

Mental Health Service for CALD communities - support for people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, health professionals and partner organisations. Connects individuals with relevant services, programs and resources which suit the needs of CALD communities.

Support for women’s safety

I’m experiencing financial abuse, domestic violence and/or family violence

E-Safety Commissioner - report online abuse including intimate image based abuse. Provides advice, support and assistance to remove images or videos.

Full Stop Australia - Provides counselling for people whose lives have been impacted by violence and abuse. 1800 385 578.

NSW Victims Access Line (VAL) provides a single entry point for victims of crime in NSW to assist in accessing services. Operates 8am- 6pm Monday to Friday. 1800 633 063.

Aboriginal Women Crisis Contact Line  1800 019 123

NSW Health Sexual Assault services - Sexual Assault Services located throughout NSW provide free medical care, counselling, and court support.

Elder Abuse - NSW Ageing and Disability Abuse Helpline. Report concerns about abuse of older people or people with disability. 1800 628 221

Immigrant Women’s Speak Out- Provides culturally specific services to women experiencing domestic violence and homelessness. Offers advocacy services, crisis accommodation and skills development to migrant and refugee women.  02 9635 8022

ACON provides free counselling and crisis support to a range of marginalised groups, including the LGBTI and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Focussed on care for people with HIV, substance users, and people experiencing sexual and domestic violence.

1800 RESPECT- The DV Line is a NSW state-wide national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling and referral service. 24 hr phone or online chat support. 1800 737 732        

NSW Domestic Violence Line - 24 hour phone support line. Phone counsellors can make referrals to other services for counselling, accommodation support. 1800 65 64 63

Community legal centre - Wirringa Baiya - providing legal advice, court support, and education resources to Aboriginal women and youth who have experienced violence.

Women’s Legal Service NSW- Directory for a range of specialised legal advice hotlines, including the First Nation’s Women’s Legal Contact Line. Provides legal education resources and training.

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