APM ParentsNext Dakota's story transcript

Speaker 1: My name's Dakota. I'm 28 years old and I've got two young children, age six and eight. And I've been with ParentsNext now for about 12 months and they've helped me realize that skills you get from being a parent can actually go into workforce. So when I thought I didn't have any skills or I needed to learn everything all again, I actually had a lot. You learn a lot being a parent. I went to an information center with ParentsNext, and they had a representative from Vic Jobs Jolene, and she has been a massive help. She's so good and she's made me feel comfortable and confident to even apply for jobs. And she's just so good with wording things and she's amazing. Once I knew my kid was turning six and I knew I was going to have to go back into the job force, it scared the living daylights out of me.

I haven't had a job in 10 years. When I was in high school, in year 12, I found out I was pregnant with my oldest one. So I left my job, finished school, and then just became a mum. And then all of a sudden you get swamped and then you look for jobs and they say, you need this, this, this, this and this. And I'm just like, I don't have any of this. What am I going to do? But then they've showed me it's quite easy and as long as you're willing to put yourself out there, people are willing to give you a chance. My mom was on Centrelink all my life. As I said, I'm one of nine, so she was always at home looking after kids. Never worked. We never had money for things, special activities or anything like that always had hand me downs.

I want my kids to have a good, happy life and not have everything on Centrelink. Not have, oh, is there a Centrelink discount? I don't want to worry about a Centrelink discount. I want to have money to just buy my kids whatever they need and feel good about it. My advice for new people coming in is don't be scared. Take that chance because they understand what you've just done. They understand you've looked after kids and you don't have confidence and you're scared and they know how to help. They help you realize potential.