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National Employment Services Australia (NESA) – Media Release

MEDIA RELEASE

National Employment Services Australia (NESA) employer of the Year, Fruit2Work, celebrated its Hallam distribution centres grand opening on February 16th, 2024, with over 60 guests in attendance.

Federal Minister Belinda Wilson spoke during the event and highlighted the crucial role that Fruit2Work plays in providing opportunities for individuals seeking a fresh start, after being affected by the justice system. The Minister commended the exceptional transitional employment opportunities Fruit2Work offer and emphasised the positive impact this has on her electorate and the broader community.

Chief Chance Creator, Rob Brown, spoke about the conception of the social enterprise and registered charity, along with its ethos for fostering supportive and inclusive work environments. Brown reaffirmed the company’s commitment to ‘Creating Chances’ for individuals wanting to re-enter the workforce and re-establish themselves as returning citizens. Brown noted that without the ongoing support from our employment partners, generous donors and government agencies, the successes Fruit2Work have achieved this year would not have been possible.

Fruit2Work’s General Manager, Simon Fenech spoke of his experience joining the Fruit2Work team as a returning citizen and how the stability of employment has helped reshape his life. Both Fenech and Fruit2Work have gone from strength to strength, with Fenech announcing the charities’ first interstate venture to open April 5th in Archerfield, Queensland.

Much loved team member Lewins Turner shared his story on the day. Turner spoke of his 30-year battle with addiction, losing contact with his family and hitting his rock bottom. Receiving a lifeline in the form of a job, Turner started as a pick and packer and was promoted to Operations Lead, managing a team at the Laverton distribution centre. Turner spoke about finding motivation, inspiration, and belief in himself, which encouraged him to reconnect with his family, who now play an integral role in his life since stepping back from work due to poor health.

Fenech and Brown showed admiration for Turner and unveiled a plaque naming the new Hallam Distribution centre ‘The Lewins Hub’. Turner’s personal experience serves as a testament to the impact Fruit2Work has on individuals and their families, in turn helping to reduce recidivism and promote connection.

As Fruit2Work embarks on this new chapter of growth and expansion in the southeastern regions of Melbourne and Queensland (coming soon), it remains dedicated to their commitment to help those affected by the justice system. Delivering quality fresh fruit, milk, bread, and pantry items to a growing list of supporters is not just about creating employment opportunities, it is about changing lives!

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