Dedicated Rihong finds purpose and joy in job success

Published on 21 May 2024

For media enquiries
Rihong and APM Employment Consultant Shayne

Rihong arrived at APM Employment Services in Caboolture with a heart heavy from loss and uncertainty. 

A recent widow and immigrant from China, she was determined to rebuild her life in Australia. 

Rihong, 60, had been a stay-at-home parent, while her husband was the family’s primary earner. 

After his sudden passing, she found herself in a new country with qualifications as an electrical engineer that weren’t recognised in Australia and limited English language skills.

Despite these challenges, Rihong, dedicated herself to finding a new opportunity, with the support of her APM employment consultant Shayne.

Shayne suggested Rihong enrol in an Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) at TAFE Queensland. 

Rihong eagerly accepted, finding joy not only in learning but also in making new friends. 

She even travelled to Bracken Ridge TAFE when her local Caboolture TAFE was closed for the holidays. 

Alongside this, Shayne referred her to counselling services, to help support her following her husband’s passing.

Learning new skills in work trial

While undertaking the AMEP, Rihong also completed a Certificate II, which included a work experience placement at the Novotel Brisbane Airport, where she explored various departments, including reception, kitchen, housekeeping, and food and beverage. 

Rihong’s dedication was quickly recognised during the trial with a part-time job offer from the Novotel. 

With a wage subsidy arranged by Shayne, Rihong secured consistent hours, meeting both her financial and emotional needs. 

Today, she primarily works in the kitchen, a role she finds challenging and fulfilling, and she is a big hit with colleagues and customers. 

“The staff and customers adore her, and she is set to receive additional training in reception,” said Shayne.

Shayne said Rihong’s dedication is evident at every APM appointment. 

“She beams with pride, recounting her work experiences, and expresses a profound sense of happiness. She believes her husband would be proud of her achievements.”

Rihong’s story is a powerful reminder of the difference that support and determination can make. 

She has not only found stable employment but says she also has a renewed sense of purpose and joy in her life.

Rihong accessed free support with APM Employment Services through Workforce Australia.

Learn more about help for job seekers on our Workforce Australia page.