High hopes of a new career for a High Country local

From Melbourne to Merrijig, meet Annabel, one of the many young people who moved to regional Victoria to pursue a rejigged career during the pandemic.

After finishing her university degree earlier this year, Annabel moved back to the family home during the early stages of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Struggling to find work close to her temporary home in Merrijig, she was introduced to the Youth Employment Program (YEP), an initiative of  Working for Victoria, a Victorian Government program to match jobseekers with employers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) response.

“It was overwhelming to leave my job in Melbourne, but the idea of staying in Melbourne during the six-week lockdown was slightly more alarming,” Annabel said.

Annabel applied to be involved in the program and secured an administration job in the property team at Mt Buller, just 30km from her family’s home. She says being able to secure a role during this time was a huge relief.

“I was hopeful of being able to find work eventually but being able to find it so quickly and so close to my new home in Merrijig has been great,” she said.

Annabel is also grateful she has been able to find a role which allows her to make a contribution in the community and spend more time in the local area.Annabel smiling on Mt Buller ski slopes.

“Having a full-time position close to home in regional Victoria has been a bit of a shining beacon in what has been a really challenging year,” she said.

“I am absolutely loving living in Merrijig, it is so beautiful. It’s been wonderful to be up here during winter and witness snow falling across endless green hills and tree topped mountains. Living and working in Merrijig has been great!”

The full-time role is also offering her the opportunity to further develop her skills she has the flexibility to work at home or on-site when required. Being able to complete her day-to-day tasks from any location is something that has also been really important during this time.

“I spend a lot of my day scanning documents that relate to residential and commercial properties on the mountain and helping my supervisor with whatever she needs. I also log all the documents which have been processed, which is particularly important when working remotely.”

“The application process for the position was straightforward and stress free,” she said.

“The team at Mt Buller were extremely approachable, transparent and communicative throughout the whole process when I had any questions about both the application process and the position.”

Annabel is excited for the potential career opportunities she may have in the future after developing her skills in this role.

“The role is giving me vital office skills such as communication in a larger team, working alongside different teams and managers and even things like office manners and etiquette.”

“In terms of where I see myself in five years… I think I’ll be working, either in my current field or communications,” she said.

The Working for Victoria initiative is helping young Victorians to kick start their careers, including those who have been affected during the pandemic. Since April, Working for Victoria has created more than 10,000 jobs across both regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne.

Annabel says she would encourage other young Victorians between the ages of 15-24 to register for the Youth Employment Program online at www.vic.gov.au/workingforvictoria.