Job turns life around

Allan Exton is a ranger at Nimbin Rocks for Ngulingah Land Council.
Allan Exton is a ranger at Nimbin Rocks for Ngulingah Land Council. Hamish Broome

THREE YEARS ago Allan Exton was a recovering alcoholic, unemployed and essentially homeless.

Today he has a permanent job, a roof over his head, and enough self-esteem to keep his life on track.

Mr Exton works four days a week as a ranger at Nimbin Rocks for Ngulingah Land Council.

I feel satisfied - I love working out in the country and I've got my own place I can come back to, Mr Exton said.

In order to get the job, he needed to get several certificates and gain enough experience in similar roles to qualify for a full-time position.

Much of the thanks goes to a long-term partnership between Mr Exton and his employment and training provider, NORTEC, to develop his employability.

Mr Exton first gained his position with Ngulingah Land Council during NORTEC's 1000 jobs in 100 days campaign last year.

That casual position then led him to a permanent role the following January, which now involves working as a mentor and supervisor on the land.

Alan was supported by NORTEC to complete a numeracy and literacy program called Brush Up Your Skills, which helped him obtain his driver's license.

They also provided him with the money to fix his car and renew his registration, and the clothes and boots to do his job.

"They stuck by me," Mr Exton said.

NORTEC Lismore branch manager Mark Wright said Mr Exton's story was an inspiration.

"Finding the job you really want is hard for anyone but every job is a stepping stone that provides skills and experience that can lead towards that goal," Mr Wright said.



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