Skip to main content

Esther Yoa

Jobs Victoria Employment Services Specialist Mentor


What is Jobs Victoria Employment Services?
Jobs Victoria supports people looking for work and connects employers with the staff they need. It provides information, advice and support in person, online, and on the phone.

What do you do as a Jobs Victoria mentor?
I help people who are experiencing challenges in finding work. I work one-on-one with participants who may be experiencing homelessness, never worked in Australia before, or have low literacy and numeracy. I work with the clients to overcome those issues and get them job-ready

What does being a specialist mentor mean to you?
Being a mentor means so much. I have the potential to better and change someone’s life through this amazing program. I can identify with the story of moving to a country you don’t know, which has a culture that’s new to you and having to re-learn how to navigate in the community. That’s why I can really appreciate my African clients as I feel that I have a lot I can share regarding my experiences while assisting them into employment.

Do you have an example of how your work helped a person change their life?
One of my clients is an Ethiopian refugee who, since migrating here in 2008 and studying a nursing diploma, was unable to find employment.

She was applying for over 30 jobs a week, unsuccessfully. At the time she was homeless and needed to better her finances so she could support her sister and nephew to migrate to Australia also.

We worked on building her confidence and her interview skills and advocated for her. She was able to get a start with a disability support company. Since, she has been able to secure her own housing, buy a car and support her sister and nephew in moving to Australia.

How many people does the TaskForce JVES program help?
TaskForce has helped more than 500 people through the program.

What more could be done to help more people through the JVES program?
It would be great if we could get additional funding to keep supporting clients and extend the duration of the program.

When did you join TaskForce?
I started at taskforce in January of 2021.

What attracted you to working with TaskForce?
TaskForce is a not-for-profit organisation that delivers education and engagement programs, AOD treatment, and youth and family services in southeast Melbourne and beyond. We support people facing disadvantages and help them realise opportunities towards building a better life.

What I love most about this organisation is the culture and people. They truly love what they do and it shows. It is the most supportive organisation I have ever worked with. They get to know their staff on a personal level and truly want to help!

What would you say to someone setting out to find a job?
The hardest step is to start, so just take the leap! You can check out the Jobs Victoria website for more info (there are providers all over Victoria). You can also visit our TaskForce Community Agency website at