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Mustafa’s second chance

In his own words, one participant from Jesuit Social Services’ employment programs describes how having a job enabled him to reset his life after involvement with the criminal justice system.

“I was a door knocker for solar panels. I was a team leader. I did that for a couple of years. It was really good until I went downhill. Once I got over my hiccups with justice and my mental health, I really wanted to get back into work, but a lot of the prerequisites for employment were a criminal check. That was always in my head and stopping me from thinking that I could secure employment. It made me feel like I couldn’t be part of society and just giving up and just staying on Centerlink for the rest of my life. 

The people that [partner] with Jesuit Social Services, who hire people with a past involvement with justice, saw me for who I am today. They asked me briefly about my past, but weren’t judgmental at all. They made me feel like a normal person who deserves a second chance and I’m forever grateful. It gave me so much hope I was over the moon. 

I work on the roads of Melbourne, keeping pedestrians safe. Doing traffic management control around roadworks. It’s rewarding. I feel like there’s hope – I have faith and I feel organised and productive and I feel a part of something bigger than me. Like a part of a team.”