23 May 2024

The Work Without Barriers Jobs Expo will bring together a wide range of organisations supporting women and gender-diverse individuals to break down employment barriers and build careers using their lived and living experience.  

An initiative of the Fitzroy Legal Service, the Expo is designed for individuals who have struggled with employment because of systemic disadvantage and/or discrimination, due to incarceration, homelessness, family violence or mental health issues. Issues impacting increasing portions of our community.  

The Expo will feature lived and living experience leaders who are now working across the community sector, who will share their perspectives on their workforce experience and the pathways they took to get settled into their careers. 

Participating organisations include leading family violence organisations, housing, mental health and other advocacy and support services, who will each have information on employment opportunities across the community sector.  

Fitzroy Legal Service Interim CEO, Hamish McLachlan, said women and gender-diverse individuals with lived and living experience of incarceration, homelessness, family violence and mental health issues disproportionately face significant challenges in finding employment. 

We know from our practice experience that women and gender diverse people with these personal experiences face a lot of discrimination in the community particularly when it comes to employment. 

Hamish McLachlan, Interim CEO Fitzroy Legal Service

“We are holding this Expo to help address these unfair barriers and provide attendees with employment pathways and employment opportunities that harness the incredible wisdom born of their lived and living experience.” 

The organisation’s Work Without Barriers Program Coordinator, Jia Kho says the Expo will play a unique role in bringing together lived and living experience leaders from different backgrounds to share their personal journeys and advice on using lived experience to make a difference in the community. 

Our stallholders and speakers will share contacts, resources and information to attendees that will support their transition into lived and living experience or peer work roles, and will provide key information on developing and maintaining this workforce for organisations curious to learn more.  

Jia Kho, Work Without Barriers Program Coordinator

“I would encourage all women and gender diverse individuals interested in building a career based on their lived experience to join us on 24 May.” 

Statement from Nadia Gavin, Harm Reduction Victoria  

“Harm Reduction Victoria are excited to be involved in the Work Without Barriers Job Expo and commend Fitzroy Legal Service on this work,” Nadia said.

“This event is truly a fantastic opportunity for the community sector to work together towards achieving gender equality in both our workplaces and across the broader community.

“This event is a celebration of women and gender diverse individuals who have experienced systemic disadvantage, it is our way of recognising and championing their voices and wisdom to improve the lives of others.” 

Statement from the Bec Nixon, Self Help Addiction Resource Centre 

“The job expo is a chance for women and gender diverse folks to come together and listen and talk about the why lived and living experience roles are so important. It is an opportunity for organisations to learn a little bit more about the value of these roles,” Bec said.

“Ultimately, this expo is a place to learn about how to get started or develop your career as a lived and living experience advocate and worker. It will be a celebration of women who have faced trauma in their lives and used it to fight for change.” 

The Work Without Barriers team at Fitzroy Legal Service is hosting a Lived and Living Experience and Peer Work job expo on Friday 24 May 2024 at the Fitzroy Town Hall, from 10:30am-1:30pm. Register today!

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