With a background in banking and finance, Olivia thought that her five years of solid work experience in Uganda would set her up nicely in find a job in Australia.
“I thought I could just knock on a few doors and get started. But I learnt very quickly that I needed to build up my networks and work out a game plan,’” says Olivia.
Olivia left Uganda in 2014, escaping a domestic violence situation in a culture that still has a long way to go in supporting women.
Seeking a better life in Australia, Olivia’s main motivation to find work was so she could earn enough money to send home to her daughter in Uganda, who was two years old at the time.
“When I arrived in Australia I did every kind of job put in front of me. Babysitting, cleaning, short certificates to further my education and community volunteer work,” recalls Olivia.
During her time volunteering at an Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Olivia introduced a running program for women who had never exercised before.
“I’ve always been active in sport, and at school in Uganda, so I wanted to put this to use. I then did some work for Big Issue magazine on a soccer program for homeless people and women experiencing domestic violence.”
Dressed for success
Olivia remembers her first day at Big Issue magazine, when she put on her corporate clothes and made her way to the office.
“I’d done my research on the magazine and thought, this is big. I’ll dress up for it,” she says.
While most of Olivia’s colleagues were dressed in hoodies and trackies, Olivia enjoyed the feeling of looking professional again.
“Getting back on the computer and dressing up felt good and reminded me of what I used to do,” says Olivia.
It was during Olivia’s time at the Big Issue where she met a colleague who had participated in the Given the Chance program.
Olivia was put in touch with the Brotherhood of St Laurence and through the MoneyMinded program she was connected to ANZ.
The Brotherhood of St Laurence then called Olivia and prepared her for an interview at ANZ.
From safe deposits to banking apps
“The first project I worked on at ANZ was decommissioning safe deposits - one of the oldest products the bank had. We used to store little boxes in a safe for customers for their jewellery and other valuables,” Olivia reflects.
Olivia was part of a small working group responsible for handing the storage of safe boxes over to a new provider. Her role was to make sure it was done effectively and securely.
Since then, Olivia has seen a lot of change in banking.
“I’m now a coach for the new ANZ Plus product and my role is to provide support to customers with queries they have about the ANZ Plus app and provide financial wellbeing workshops to encourage customers to do all their banking through the app.”