TRACQS would like to introduce you to our newest staff member Darren, who has recently come on board as a Time to Work Employment Services (TWES) Coordinator.  

Darren comes to TRACQS with over seven years experience in the employment industry. Previously he has worked with employers and apprentices in developing and implementing training within the Australian Apprentice Support Network. Darren’s work has taken him throughout North Queensland, Cape York and the Western Tablelands regions, giving him an in-depth understanding of the individual goals and needs of local participants.  

Darren also shared his connection to land and culture, and how his personal and professional experience assists his role today.  

“I have a strong past connection with Aurukun, a small Aboriginal community located on the western side of Cape York. I had the privilege to work and live within community and out on country (traditional homelands) for over half a decade as a Land and Sea Ranger Coordinator. With this experience, I was able to gain a great understanding that culture is everything, and that looking back on the past is as important as looking into the future. It’s this philosophy I hope to bring into this role, with a holistic approach to every individual that needs our support.”

– Darren.

Time to Work Employment Services is an Australian Government initiative that supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients being released from prison. This initiative develops a pathway forward that recognises our clients’ unique strengths, needs and culture and ensures they are connected to the support they need to reintegrate into the community following their release.  

For the Time to Work Employment Services team at TRACQS, this support is facilitated through regular visits to Lotus Glen Correctional Centre, organised through the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.  

Working alongside a dedicated team, Darren brings empathy, patience and experience to his role, where he will assist clients in accessing the support they need to reintegrate into their local community. Darren and his team provide the best support to enter a new future by leading clients into sustainable and meaningful employment following their release.  

Already familiar with TRACQS’ work within the Western Tablelands region, Darren is excited to contribute to our team’s accomplishments in supporting participants into new opportunities. After getting to know his team and clients, Darren is ready to step up as a leader and innovator.  

He looks forward to seeing the progress of individuals throughout TRACQS’ services and is grateful for the opportunity to advocate for those needing support.   

“Understanding the complexities that incarcerated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples face upon release is a focus for me. Sustainable and meaningful employment is an end goal, but before this can happen, we need to understand individual barriers with empathy, support, and respect for culture.”

– Darren.

Part of what makes the TRACQS team so special is the different cultures and experiences that come together to support our communities. We’re excited to see how Darren works with his team to provide quality support to our pre and post-release clients through our Time to Work Employment Services. Welcome aboard Darren!