A heart for charity

Caring for the less fortunate fills Caitlyn Collins–Jones’ heart. Caitlyn spent most of her childhood and teenage years growing up under the care of her grandmother in Brisbane. On weekends and after school both would volunteer at the local charity – Murri Ministries, providing care to First Nations peoples who are unhoused or suffering from trauma.

“It such a great feeling giving back to the disempowered,” Caitlyn explained.

“Observing my grandmother’s leadership, it allowed me to discover my purpose: giving back to community.”

When Caitlyn graduated high school, she moved in with her mother in Coen and started job searching, hoping to find a career that aligned with her values and to become financially independent. Being at the right place at the right time, Caitlyn secured a job with the local O-Hub as a Cleaner and Mayi Market assistant through the Community Projects Initiative.

“When mum told me about the opportunity, I did not hesitate to apply for it,” Caitlyn said.

The O-Hub staff were surprised with Caitlyn’s application and shortlisted her for an interview, bringing her one step away from achieving her goal. After acing her interview, Caitlyn received the news that she was waiting for, she was now successfully employed.

Community Projects is a NIAA trial that is giving Community Development Program (CDP) providers like Cape York Employment more flexibility on how they allocate a portion of their funding. Working with jobseekers, the communities and Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership, CYE is creating meaningful jobs and keep locals off welfare. Caitlyn is just one of the many success stories of the initiative, which not only helps people develop skills in line with their passions but also prepares them to take up suitable market jobs in the area.

“I feel so proud of myself being able to work in a space that focuses on community, especially a career aligning with my passion,” Caitlyn said.

Caitlyn’s first week of work had her exposed to the busy Coen Muster Day where she recorded attendance and maintained a safe and clean environment for her community as they attended the event and visited the local O-Hub.

Caitlyn is looking to embody the qualities that were imparted on her, including her grandmother’s firm leadership and charitable nature into her role.









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