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No more borders or boundaries

AAIP participant Rosi and her People Leader at NAB, Matt

Rosi Matlhabaphiri-Quaremba’s resume featured a remarkable breadth of experience, including roles with the United Nations Population Fund and as a lecturer in communications.

But after settling in Australia from her native Botswana, Rosi encountered significant and “emotionally taxing” challenges to securing corporate employment, applying unsuccessfully for almost 300 roles.

Through the African-Australian Inclusion Program (AAIP), a partnership between Jesuit Social Services and NAB, Rosi was able to get a foot in the door at one of Australia’s big four banks.

The AAIP was established in 2009 to provide paid work opportunities to skilled African-Australians who often encounter barriers to work due to a lack of local work history. More than 340 people have completed the six-month program since it began, with over 90 per cent of graduates from the most recent round securing ongoing work at NAB or elsewhere in their chosen field.

Rosi is flourishing in her Enterprise Events role. Her People Leader at NAB Matt Oster, Head of Enterprise Events, says he has also developed a deeper understanding and appreciation of the barriers faced by the African-Australian community.

“It’s important to remember, and easy to forget that not everyone is afforded the equal opportunity to participate in meaningful work,” he says.

Rosi says her involvement in the program has benefited her in a number of ways – in her career path, and also in her outlook on life.

“I no longer see any boundaries and borders – now I see hope, opportunities, career advancement and security.”

Last year, Jesuit Social Services received funding from the Victorian Government to expand this successful model to other corporate partners including the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

If you’re interested in discussing opportunities for your business, please contact the Corporate Diversity Partnerships team – info@corporatediversity.org.au