“I thought I was a piece of dirt underneath everyone’s shoes,” Marlene says as she holds back tears.
“When you go through some really horrible times in life, you actually believe what other people’s opinions of you are.”
For a long time, Marlene and her children weren’t safe. Every day they suffered domestic abuse from Marlene’s partner in their own home.
But Marlene’s lowest point came when her two 12-year-old daughters were removed from home. At the same time, Marlene’s relationship with her 21-year-old son was strained. Diagnosed with autism, Marlene’s son lives in a disability services home.
“I didn’t have much confidence in myself,” says Marlene. “But after going through severe domestic violence I lost all my self-esteem [and] courage.”
Yet when all seemed lost, Marlene found Wesley Mission. Marlene vividly remembers the moment she pulled a Wesley Mission flyer from her letterbox. An enthusiasm to kickstart her career was suddenly sparked.
One phone call set Marlene on a new path. She connected with Wesley Mission’s employment coach, Chloe, who helped Marlene make those first steps toward achieving her career goals. Chloe then supported Marlene through Career Pathways, a Wesley Mission program which helps people access education, training and practical support to prepare for the workforce.
“Wesley Mission was beyond anything I could have imagined. They were just there when you needed them. I could call on Chloe and rely on her,” Marlene smiles. “I could not have gone through the course without Chloe’s help – there’s no way.”
Marlene no longer believes the lies people once spoke over her life. Instead, she’s filled with confidence and hope for her future. “It just opened my doors, and my life is totally different now, and I’m happy.”
Marlene has completed her Certificate III in Community Services (CHC32015) through Wesley Vocational Institute (RTO Code 90091). Since February 2019, Marlene has been running her own business called ‘Marlene’s Quality Coastal Care’, which provides support to children with disabilities.
“I am so proud of the resilience that Marlene has shown through these hard times,” says Chloe.
Marlene now has a safe home for her two daughters, who have been restored to her care and she continues to build a positive relationship with her son.
“I would tell anyone now to absolutely do it. I didn’t think I could do it [but] believe me, if I can do it, you can do it. I’m flying now, and you can too.”