Community Services Employer Panel

The Skills and Jobs Centre recently hosted its first employer panel in Geelong for 2018. The panel featured three employers from the Community Services sector and provided insights into the industry, current opportunities, skills and qualifications required and some handy tips about the recruitment process.

The panel members were:

  • Maree O’Dell (General Manager of People and Organisation Development) – Diversitat
  • Jill Meade (Coordinator Youth Statutory Support Programs) – Barwon Children, Youth & Family
  • Scott Morris (HR Advisor) – Barwon Children, Youth & Family
  • Amanda Stirrat (Community Development Officer) – City of Greater Geelong

Barwon Child, Youth & Family was launched as a new entity on 1 July 2015 because of a merger between Glastonbury Community Services, Barwon Youth and Time for Youth. The organisation employs nearly 350 staff across 40-50 different job roles and provides services to clients via its client services platform that includes Early Years, Family & Community services, Out of Home Care, Specialist Intervention Services, Youth Services and headspace Geelong.


Diversitat, also known as Geelong Ethnic Communities Council, is a registered charity and a not-for-profit community service organisation. Established in 1976, today they offer services in settlement, community development, youth services, aged support, training and education, as well as arts and events. They also manage The Pulse Radio and Television, Wholefoods Pantry and Kitchen, and the Belmont Oppe Shoppe. The organisation employs over 300 staff across 11 sites in the Geelong and Colac region.


City of Greater Geelong (COGG) is the local council in Geelong that provides a diverse and extensive range of property, economic, human, recreational and cultural services to the community and implements the City’s strategic plan.  COGG is the second largest employer in the region, employing over 2500 people in a wide variety of roles.


Why work in the Community Services sector

  • Empower and advocate for some of the most marginalised members of your community
  • Be a champion for your local community and help them to have a voice
  • Lots of positives and good news stories about a not-for-profit organisation can accomplish
  • Gives you a reason why to come to work and helps you contribute to something bigger than yourself
  • Consider volunteering the sector to learn more about the different organisations and build your network.

 Applying for a job in the Community Services sector

  • All vacancies are advertised on each organisations website, (see the links above which will take you straight to the employment pages) as well as on Seek and social media pages like LinkedIn.
  • Applicants are encouraged to read the Position Descriptions carefully and to contact the listed contact person with any questions. This is also a great way to introduce yourself to the organisation and make your name stand out from the many applications.
  • Tertiary qualifications (ranging from Certificate III to Degree) may be required for some positions but relevant work experience is always highly regarded as it shows you can fit straight into the job.
  • Check to see if a cover letter is required and if so take this as an opportunity to really show your enthusiasm for the role.
  • Use the STAR (Situation | Task | Actions | Results) method when responding to the Key Selection Criteria and keep your answers to two or three paragraphs.
  • Don’t forget to highlight your relevant experience and passion for the role when responding to the Key Selection Criteria. Make the panel excited to read your application and to meet you at interview.
  • There will be two or three staff on an interview panel and for some positions, there may even be a second interview. The interview will include questions about what interests you about the role and your relevant experience followed by some behavioural questions.
  • Most organisations require some additional background checks such as a Police Check or a Working with Children’s Check
  • Always remember that every interaction with the organisation is part of the recruitment process, so make sure even a phone call to book an interview is handled professionally.
  • If you are successful in getting the job, each organisation offers, a comprehensive orientation and induction process and further professional development opportunities are available.

Don’t forget to book into one of the Skills and Jobs Centre’s workshops for help with your application, interview preparation or job search strategies. For more information and current workshops please visit: